The Managing Director of FBNBank Ghana, Mr Victor Yaw Asante, has reiterated the commitment of banks in the country to continuously innovate to keep up with the pace of changing customer behaviour and expectations.
That, he said, would ensure that the industry remained relevant and competitive, especially in product development, personalisation and customer service delivery.
He made these remarks when interacting with some customers of the bank’s AbosseyOkai and Kaneshie branches.
“Our industry needs to remain efficient and competitive, at least in the sub region particularly in the face of AfCFTA and innovation especially in the areas of product, processes, and marketing is a key part of the process,” he said.
Mr Asante stressed that banks generally were aware of what customers wanted such as easy accessibility, real time assistance, personalised services and data security among others and innovation and digitisation provides the best means to keep the customer happy.
He said the digital age was transforming almost every sector and aspect of daily life – the way we work, trade, learn, bank and access information with innovation becoming crucial in the process.
Particularly, he said the use of technology to provide digital financial services supported individuals and businesses to live in the digital economy.
Ghana’s National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy (NFIDS) 2018–2023 has innovation as the main underlining theme in its five pillars of financial sector development: Financial Stability; Access, Quality, and Usage of Financial Services; Financial Infrastructure; Financial Consumer Protection; and Financial Capacity.
Ghana however dropped in the 2021 Global Innovation Index (GII). Ghana ranks 112th among the 132 economies surveyed compared to 108 and 106 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
While Ghana’s position has declined over the period, it is worth noting that almost every country increased the pace of innovation when COVID-19 hit. The banking sector has witnessed its share of innovation within the time, with everything movable online moved to meet the needs of customers.
The Managing Director of FBNBank Ghana, argued that “although the pandemic moved up the time for planned investment in digitisation, banks cannot slow the pace because customers’ tastes, product and service technologies continue to change. Therefore, to keep up with customer expectations and new technologies banks should be highly innovative”.
A study from Freedom, a global financial technology company, showed that 95 percent of business customers who use digital banking in their personal lives expect the same digital experience for businesses.
This means, retail/personal banking received more attention on digital innovations than commercial/business banking and there is the need to replicate the feat in the personal banking space other segments of the banking sector.
Mr Asante stressed that this is likely to apply to the Ghanaian market, stressing that “Even though this situation and many others present opportunities to banks in Ghana to create more value for customers and other stakeholders, without continuous innovation, it will be difficult to effectively and efficiently derive the right value from the opportunities.”
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