They say the proof lies in the pudding. What better way to judge how good (or bad) a bank’s online customer interaction is, then to actually interact with it.
Out of personal curiosity, I decided to test how interactive (read: responsive) the banks in Pakistan were to online queries.
In my survey, which was repeated a total of seven times, though we excluded the first run. Questions were asked (via the Bank’s website). Queries were spaced apart on different days and times. Early morning, afternoon, evening, holidays, etc.
- A general query was posted on July 2013 (discarded)
- 24th August 2013
- 27th August 2013
- 30th August 2013
- 1st October 2013
- 10th October 2013, and
- 28th October 2013.
The list of questions that were asked were:
- Can you please tell me if an incoming remittance transfer from US needs a SWIFT Code?
- I am trying to find a copy of the Schedule of Charges online on your website, where can I find it from?
- I want to know if I cash a cheque at your counter over Rs. 100,000 is there any withholding tax or any other excise tax that is deducted from the amount cashed? If so, how much?
- If I open an account with your bank, do I get an IBAN number allotted to me? If so, do I have to apply for one, or is it automatically given to me?
- I would like to know if you offer ebanking for PLS accounts? And do you offer IBFT facility?
- Can I somehow fill the account opening form online? Do you have such a service? Then I can visit the branch and it would save me time.
Before we post the results, there were a couple of points that need explaining:
- Faysal Bank was inadvertently left out of the survey. We simply forgot.
- The reason we conducted the survey six times was to get a better average.
- Granted the point scoring mechanism is rough, but it will be improved this time around when we do the survey again (this time, the call center would also be surveyed).
- The raw spreadsheet with the scores can be obtained from here.
- The email account used to receive replies was on Gmail. Banks who would like to gain access to the replies can do so by contact me personally and we shall provide them with the complete email chain.
The overall scoring showed the following results:
Interesting to note that the Top 5 performers did not include the Big 5 Banks. ABL was just 5 points shy of making the list. Bank AL-Habib, Habib Metro and Soneri Banks who are known for their customer dealing, scored very low, thus indicating that online customer interaction is still not up to mark in these banks. First Women’s Bank was a definite surprise for all of us.
The column chart for the total score is reflected below:
The Average Scoring column chart is as below:
The entire exercise was to provide an insight for all to see how the banks are performing with respect to online customer interaction. With each passing day, we (the consumers) are utilizing the Internet more and more and thus expectations from the banks are high.