By Kevon Browne
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank is promoting its Cashless SKN initiative in an effort to move towards a more remote transaction territory in light of COVID-19.
Anthony Morton, Executive Marketing Manager of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Limited, spoke on the Monday (August 10) broadcast of WINN’s weekday morning show ‘Island Tea’ about the new cashless initiative currently being promoted.
“Cashless SKN is a fast, effective, and convenient way of banking. It’s our way to make sure our customers have easy access to their accounts, to transfer funds, to pay their bills using MO banking. They can also purchase goods and services with their national bank cards without waiting in long lines to access their cash.”
Morton also spoke about the need for cashless transactions due to the ever-evolving and fluid COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Coronavirus which has decimated every economy globally, and has naturally reduced companies’ financial performance forecast for the remainder of 2020 and 2021. At National, we had to rethink the bank’s strategy during and post COVID and this new strategy had to mandate a heavy concentration in digital marketing. So now we focus on boosting lifetime product value and customer-centric experiences through the increased use of our digital platform which is mobile and online banking. And our bank card usage for our customers.”
Morton recounts the period of time when the Federation was on the 24 hour and partial lockdown and the wait time to conduct banking transactions was being juggled with the need to secure groceries and conduct other business because of the time constraints.
“So, as a result, Cashless SKN was born, created to educate our customers about the seamless secure and convenient experience of using their bank cards and mobile banking for their everyday needs as opposed to cash… in a nutshell.”
With this initiative, the customers now have the option of opting out of in-person payments and move to a system where bills and other transactions can be carried out with mobile or online banking or the use of the cards. However, the focus is on mobile and online banking. There are no transfer fees or costs affiliated with the inter-account transactions when sending money to other accounts or for paying one’s bills. Morton explained how one can pay bills through the use of the mobile banking app.
“So there are about 20 companies that we have onboard that you can pay these bills. So what you do is you go into the pay merchant section and you look to see which one those companies bills… you select it you input the account number you register the account as one of the merchants you want to pay and in future going forward you naturally pay.”
Currently, it is not yet possible to scan cheques through the Mo Banking app to deposit the funds on one’s account, but Morton indicated that they are working on something similar.
When asked about the interaction between the ECCB’s rollout of their DCash app Morton say’s he sees no reason why the relationship will not be symbiotic. The DCash is strictly for daily transactions and does not act as an account that can accrue interest, thus making it similar to the Cashless SKN initiative.
“As the largest bank in the OECS, we are looked to for so many different things to be the pioneer and we are one of the banks that will be participating in the pilot program and we don’t see an issue with our app being compatible in any way with what they are rolling out. The idea though is that Central Bank saw the need to go cashless, we are seeing that need and the push is both… I think it’s a symbiotic relationship… with their presentation to the public and ours…”
“So to sum it up Cashless SKN is our new lifestyle choice,” expressed Morton.
Although The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the general way of life and has negatively affected the global economy, through innovations and initiatives of this magnitude, it shows the resilience of society in looking past the pandemic to a COVID free future.