Increasing customer uptake of digital platforms in Uganda’s banking sector: A case study of guaranty trust bank limited
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This study examined the effective strategies for increasing customer uptake of digital platforms within the banking sector of Uganda using a case study of Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank Limited. The study was premised on three objectives that are; to explore the prevailing trends in uptake of digital platforms among customers of Guaranty Trust Bank, assess the challenges faced by customers of Guaranty Trust Bank while using digital platforms and to recommend strategies for ensuring effective uptake of digital platforms among customers of Guaranty Trust Bank. The study employed a cross-sectional, descriptive and explanatory research design with a mixed study approach which involved collecting numerical data from 174 respondents out of a sample of 208 GT bank customers, using a survey questionnaire and interviewing 15 staff of GT bank. Data was analyzed using the statistical package for social science (SSPS Version 23) for quantitative data and Atlas ti for qualitative data. From the interviews, it emerged that customers of GT bank are using USSD banking which does not require internet, GT bank also offers a school fees collection service called School Pay. The bank has placed greater emphasis on developing digital platforms such as GT Mobile Banking App, which is simple and faster to use. The staff of GT bank stressed that their customers have highly adopted agency banking and use of Inter-switch and patterning with Fintech to increase customer experience. Among the challenges affecting online banking adoption included: poor internet service; poor customer’s information protection; unsecured internet transaction; charges relating to mobile banking app’s transactions; time spent on web page response; lack of physical backups for internet transaction, poor access to internet service; prolonged period of reversing wrong or failed transaction; difficulty in navigation of mobile banking app’s content; vulnerability of mobile banking transaction to activities of fraudsters and poor bank’s web content. The study findings show the following as strategies to improve online banking adoption among GT bank customers: emphasizing the advantages of internet banking services to the customers; providing a well-designed and user-friendly web site; implementing traffic management systems for internal and external users; providing customized services to customers; providing instructions on how to use internet banking services safely; banks supporting the government to enact electronic commerce laws; offering incentives such as free internet access dial-up; frequent user benefits; member rewards banks should collaborate with internet service providers to provide their customers with internet at affordable rates and monitor the historical bank usage of customers to know their needs.. The study therefore recommends that commercial banks should improve on their security through regulatory technology to control online fraud, so that customers can use online banking. Furthermore, the study recommends that commercial banks increase privacy when customers are using online banking platforms and commercial banks should as well sensitize their customers regularly about the advantages of online banking; as they motivate their customers with incentives so that they can adopt online banking.