Friday 10 July, 2020

No data cost for Scotia customers banking with app on Digicel phones

Scotiabank Jamaica customers with Digicel phones are now able to access the bank's services on their handsets without incurring data charges.

This has been made possible through Scotia's zero-rated app offering to members of its large customer base who are on the Digicel network. With the app, customers are able to conduct credit card transactions, transfer funds between accounts and check balances, among other services.

“And it’s free of (data) charge,” Audrey Tugwell Henry, Scotia’s executive vice president for retail banking for the Caribbean, Central and North, told Loop News.

While Scotiabank has been in the online banking business for many years, it has over the past three years increased its focus on supporting and encouraging its customers to ramp up both their mobile and online banking usage, Tugwell Henry said.

“We believe that it is a most efficient service for our customers because they also can do it (a transaction) from the convenience of their home, the convenience of their office or wherever they are on the go. If they are moving around, they can use their mobile device to conduct banking transactions,” said the Scotia VP.

Audrey Tugwell Henry

She noted that, one year ago, Scotia gave wi-fi access to its customers at all branches to support and enable its online and mobile banking component. That, she said, went across very well and the bank is now looking to take things a bit further.

“Recently, we signed an agreement with Digicel for our customers to have a zero rated data access. So if our customers are using their Digicel phone to access Scotiabank’s online banking …once they are on our site, there is no data charge that will be applied to the customer.

"We believe that this is aligned to our strategy of making online and mobile banking available because it is cheaper and makes it easier, simpler and more convenient for our customers,” Tugwell Henry told our news centre.  

She reiterated one of the benefits of having the zero rated app.

“If they have no credit, they can still use our app; if they have credit, it will not deplete their credit; and if they are post paid clients, it will not go to their data charge.

“We believe it is a feature that will offer significant convenience to the customer.”

The vice president said: “We at Scotia understand the direction in which customers are going. We understand the value of time to our customers. We are very happy with our share of the Jamaican customer base, which is quite extensive, and we recognise that not all customers want to be served in branch.

“And so, our focus is on meeting all our customers’ needs, whether they come into our branches, use our online or our mobile services, or our ATMs.

"We are ensuring that Scotiabank is positioned to meet the customer where the customer wants to be…”

While Scotiabank operates in several Caribbean countries where Digicel does business, Tugwell Henry said there are no immediate plans to introduce the app in other markets.

“We will in the future be looking to see if it’s possible, but understanding that each territory has its own local regulations, we will have to explore those matters first before we bring this value to any other country,” she told Loop News.

Meanwhile, Scotia is currently observing a slightly different kind of customer appreciation week. While typically reserved for customers doing in-branch transactions, mobile, online and customers using the ATMs are also being rewarded this time around.

“What we are doing this year in addition to that (the typical in-branch customer appreciation that takes place at Christmas), we’re doing a week of giveaways for our customers who use the non-branch channels.  So it includes an opportunity for customers to get top up for call time and Scotiabank-owned prizes."

Scotiabank customers who are not Digicel customers will also benefit.

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