From West to East Africa, the retail banking industry has grown at a rapid pace with technology being the key to access customer segments that were once too costly to serve. Non-traditional competitors have grown significantly in the market place providing services traditionally exclusive to banks. These developments require a stronger infrastructure and comparative rules than currently exist, in order for the industry to be sustainable over the long run.
Ghana has seized the opportunity to tap into its unbanked population, totaling around sixty percent of the population. The country is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the success stories it has seen from countries such as Kenya and neighboring Nigeria. This includes the idea of exploring the implementation of agency banking and other forms of low cost branches including mobile branches in the form of bank on wheels or container bank branches. Different branch models are being experimented with across Africa and countries with more developed infrastructure are leveraging on this by introducing virtual tellers available after working hours so clients can still engage with customer service representative. Ghana’s banking industry must find the optimal type of branch models for cost effective expansion to reach the unbanked and remote areas.
Innovations in technology is another big differentiator Ghanaian banks must tap into as telcos have begun to compete in areas that were formerly the sole preserve of banks in East and West Africa. In East Africa, even with the success of services such as MPESA, banks are still able to compete in this new competitive environment. Neighboring Nigeria has not seen the success story yet of Mpesa but there are disruptions from non-bank players such as Paga and Paypal. The Bank of Ghana and Bankers Association are working to encourage the expansion of digital money solutions however, cultural issues regarding literacy and lack of trust in digital money as have slowed the rate of adoption among the general public. However, innovations in simplicity of mobile wallets, coupled with onsite education and value add services will advance the adoption of mobile banking in the country.
The Asian Banker will be organising the inaugural Retail Banking Dialoguein Accra, Ghanato discuss key trends and challenges faced by decision makers in the Ghana retail banking landscape.
The dialogue will be supported by in-depth research from The Asian Banker
This dialogue will focus broadly on the following goals: