A few days ago FBC reached out to me with something, I am embarrassed to say, I had totally forgotten about. You can use their banking app to apply for a savings or current account without ever leaving the comfort of your home. The whole process takes less than five minutes and you don’t have to give some dude US$3 so he can take tiny photos of your face-you just take a selfie. I just wish I had known about this sooner.
An unfortunate turn of events
I recently had a somewhat unpleasant account trying to open a current account with a certain Zimbabwean bank that I shall not name. I wanted a ZWL current account in the wake of SI 127 and at a friend’s recommendation, I visited the bank, stood in a queue, photocopied papers, had passport size photos taken, waited a week for the account, waited another two weeks for the card which I still haven’t received.
Despite my initial deposit, the bank recently sent me an SMS demanding I deposit money into the account or it would be closed. Never mind the fact that I haven’t even been able to use the account. I have no internet banking credentials. I have no mobile banking credentials either. I cannot use the app. Someone there helpfully linked my account to Ecocash so I could make the additional deposit. When I did Ecocash said the transaction went fine but the money is not in my still empty bank account.
So that was my situation two days ago:
- I had no account I could use
- The account which I had was empty
- Even if it wasn’t empty I had no way to spend money deposited therein
- I was still to receive the banking card I had been promised. I was only told there was no card after being made to wait for over an hour in a queue.
- I had lost my money to Ecocash. The transaction had not yet been reversed and couldn’t use the foolproof way of getting in touch with Ecocash on Twitter because again for some reason Ecocash blocked my Twitter account. My pleas to Cassava, Ecocash’s parent, on the same platform went unanswered.
So I ranted about how Zimbabwe’s financial institutions sucked and FBC told me about their app.
It was a breeze
I don’t know how I had missed this feature. I already know that several banks allow you to open a lite account via USSD or through their apps but opening a savings/current account is still a pain. It’s a pain even if you have all the necessary documents like me. Now FBC’s process was simplicity itself.
All I needed to do was follow these steps:
- Download the FBC Mobile Moola App, despite the name this is FBC’s official banking app and is not just for Mobile Moola: for Android or for iOS
- Register your details or if you already had a Moola account login using your existing credentials
- Tap the three dots on the top right corner of your screen
- Tap on Select Products
- Tap on Apply for Current account
The entire process can be completed from within the app. You will first be asked to enter your personal details. The tricky part for me was the ID. I am used to the so-called strokes e.g. 50-675757-Z50. The App wanted 50675757Z50. Once I did I was able to proceed. You will be asked to take a selfie, photo of your ID and your proof of residence (yup they still need that too). You can also select the gallery app and upload a JPEG version of your proof of residence instead e.g. TelOne or ZOL bill with your address. You are also allowed to choose your nearest branch during the signup process.
Another cool feature was the fact that the app automatically saves your progress. If for some reason you are forced to exit the app you can continue. This should be a no-brainer but I have come across apps that don’t. You can pick up right where you left off.
When the application goes through it’s a waiting game. Usually, the account is opened in less than an hour although it can take up to 48 hours. You are also provided with a bank card number. The physical card itself will be ready for collection from your chosen branch.
A lead to follow
This is what applying for a bank account should be like in this century and decade. It’s possible some banks already have similar functionality but I don’t know about it. If I don’t know or forget about it means lots of other people out there don’t know about or have forgotten such a feature exists.
Companies launch new features every day and it’s easy to forget a feature exists. Reminder advertising really is important…
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