CB bank is the first bank in Myanmar starting mobile banking amidst unconfirmed cyber law, inferior infrastructure and low mobile usage. It was advertised in national TV channels using country top actors and I was very eager to try it out.
Although I tend to do this review after I have the application installed on my iPhone 5, I only scratched the surface as the app needs authorization again after upgrade to iOS 7.
Although the interface is not very shiny it is simple and clear. (You can see how the other mobile banking apps are when you have the search result in App Store) The problem is the actual program interface is not the same with screenshot in the App Store.
When I pressed the Login button, it asks authorization key. It does not say where do I get the authorization key. It is totally not user friendly.
Find us works quite well and gives me nearby banks and ATMs in list and map.
Exchange rates are updated on office days not on weekends and public holidays. The problems are
- it still shows FEC and it is not the same as USD
- Pound Sterling is 1.95 Kyats (1.95 USD may be right)
Help – It does really help! It explains so much about the mobile banking except that most of the answers contain
come to nearest CB bank or
CB bank where you opened your mobile bank. The application really makes user mobile.
When I am reading
How do I know I’m downloading the real app?, it claims that
… make sure CB Bank is listed as the app publisher. …
Trying to get authorization key
As I learnt from Help that I need to go nearest CB bank to get authorization, I were at Pazuntuang branch.
The Junior Accountant is taking care of Mobile Bank account. He is not specially appointed for the job. He is young, enthusiastic and computer literate.
Although the bank is promoting the mobile app, the branches are not well equipped with necessary infrastructure and tools. I found him searching his phone for apk installation file for my friend phone, asking me that I have installed the application on my iPhone. The bank itself does not have WiFi setup that I had to use my mobile internet to get the authorization key. Moreover as my friend phone does not have internet, I had to share my phone internet for the authorization.
Not only the infrastructure, the staff is not very well educated about the system. I tried to use mobile app with my Joint B saving account. He went on and tried to get the authorization code. After so many hassle to get internet and authorization code, he told me that I could not use mobile app with Joint B saving account. He explained me that it is to prevent one of the account holders from making transaction. (I was puzzled as we opened Joint B to avoid that problem. We wanted one of us can withdraw money from the account.) I gave up after trying to explain what joint B means and then decided to contact technical person from CB bank.
After the phone call he confirmed that only individual account can be used with mobile app.
So I opened an individual saving account and asked the bank to open mobile app for that account. He was having trouble when he couldn’t find where to clear the program data in iOS as the program itself does not have that feature and the program demands to remove previously entered authorization code. I had to delete the whole app and install it again (using my own mobile internet).
The junior accountant explained that the program is restricted to handset and phone number (it is untrue and you will found out later in this post). If any of that is changed, you have to come to CB bank where you opened your mobile bank.
Filling (offline) form
After we had successfully installed on our mobile phone, we have to filled a form. The form was quite unclear about which fields are to be filled by user and which fields are to be used by bank.
The back of the form has some need-to-know information for users and sadly we were not allowed to have that information.
Good things are
- the bank provide foldable user guide (still it is only for Android users)
- the junior accountant briefly explained about the app feature (I saw a lot of usability problems which made me write yet-to-be-written longer review)
After upgrading my phone to iOS 7 the program needs authorization again. Now there are three conditions on which you have to come to CB bank where you opened your mobile bank – changed number, changed phone and changed mobile phone OS.
As the saying goes ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’, this is the first step in mobile banking of Myanmar. I do hope later versions will improve (along with the real life operation) and other banks’ mobile banking will learn something from this one.