For the majority of Ghana’s banking public, today’s Ecobank is virtually unrecognisable from the bank that opened its doors to them 30 years ago in 1990. The Ghanaian subsidiary of the Pan African banking giant Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is undoubtedly the finest and one of the largest universal banks in Ghana today. Ecobank offers a wide range of wholesale and retail banking products and services for its individual and business customers.
Indeed, Ecobank’s profound transformation is not just in size but also the variety of financial products and services it offers, as well as in its reach within Ghana and all around Africa. The bank is at the cutting-edge of commercial banking for businesses, corporate banking for large corporates, multinationals and international and local institutions such as public sector organisations and non-governmental organisations. It also has a strong retail and consumer banking division, catering for individuals and households.
The bank’s growth trajectory in Ghana is unparalleled, as evidenced most clearly by the sheer size of its balance sheet, becoming market leader long before celebrating its 30th anniversary in Ghana. Ecobank’s total assets stood at GH¢13.228billion, and shareholders’ funds at GH¢1.784billion by close of the 2019 financial year. This reflects Ecobank’s superior financial muscle compared with any of its 22 direct competitors, particularly the tier-1 banks. The bank also had an enviable loan book of GH¢5.380billion, demonstrating its larger commitment to supporting deserving business clients, as well as the biggest customer deposit base of GH¢9.728billion; thus reflecting the level of confidence the banking public has in Ecobank as a safe haven for their savings and investments.
Driving all this, though, is the most pivotal superiority of all – excellent customer service quality, which is derived from the most technologically advanced and most widely applied digital banking platform in use within Ghana’s financial services industry today. This enables Ecobank to offer the most customer-friendly banking product and service delivery channels, allowing individuals, private and public enterprises to carry out all their banking activities from their homes, offices or simply through their mobile phones on the go.
Digitisation has been key to the bank’s success in this regard, as about 80 percent of all customer transactions go through the bank’s digital channels. Indeed, Ecobank has remained the pioneer in this aspect for the past two decades. In 1998, the bank pioneered Internet banking in Ghana with its Econet technology platform. More than 20 years later it is still leading the way, revolutionising online merchant payments with Ecobank Omni Lite and Omni Plus for businesses. Also available are EcobankPay, EcobankPayWith, Ecobank Mobile, among other novel products and services for individuals.
The backbone of all these is the much talked about Ecobank Mobile, which has today become the true alternative to visiting banking halls. Unlike other banking apps on the market, users of Ecobank Mobile can virtually perform all banking transactions all year round without the need for cash, or need to visit a bank branch. This is a highly secured mobile application providing customers with fast, simple and convenient access to their bank accounts whenever they want, wherever they are.
The newest version of Ecobank Mobile is even more exciting and fun to use, with improved features such as: facial recognition, fingerprint log-in, sending money by email or text message, making split payments, paying bills, etc. Phone users are required to simply download and activate the app, using existing Ecobank account details or opening the instant Ecobank Xpress Account.
Once activated, users can start transacting business on this unique platform without visiting any branch of the bank. They can pay for goods and services from a variety of shops, and do online shopping using their mobile phones. Other services on the app include: bill payments for DSTV, utility bills, travelling, donations, government collections, post-paid bills, school fees and airtime top-up. The app can also be used for sending money to any bank account in Ghana and across the 33 countries in Africa where Ecobank has a presence, moving money between bank accounts and mobile money wallets, among others.
This is what makes the App unique and clearly differentiates Ecobank from others. The Ecobank Mobile app is available on Google Play Store or the App Store for easy download by all. Indeed, the Ecobank Mobile App registered over one million customers in Ghana in the first 18 months following its launch in November 2016, thus serving as the bank’s strongest growth driver.
Ecobank prides itself as a socially responsible organisation, making substantial social interventions across the country all year round. In furtherance of this, Ecobank has recently been urging its customers and the banking public to embrace technology in order to lessen the burden of moving around and also touching physical cash, with negative ramifications in this COVID-19 era. The bank has therefore made available many options on its Digital banking platforms for cash-lite and cashless banking.
There are over 1,500 Ecobank Xpress Points (serving as agents around the country for payments and withdrawals); 15,000 accredited Merchants at EcobankPay points (providing Mvisa and MasterPass QR code Scan and Pay solutions for cashless payments by customers); and over 200 ATMs, including Intelligent ATMs that accept deposits. Ecobank has also collaborated with MTN to launch and market the Ecobank Tbill4All, making it possible for phone users who are able and willing to buy government Treasury-bills to do so from as low as GH¢5 without the need to visit a bank branch. Phone users only need to dial *770# and follow the prompts to register, buy and manage Treasury-bills, all by themselves.
Ecobank, in partnership with JOY 99.7 FM, is currently using its digital platforms to solicit financial support for the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund toward the completion of Ghana’s first infectious disease centre to fight COVID-19 and any future pandemics. Willing contributors should dial *725# on any mobile money wallet and follow the prompts using the till number 32682570. Users of Ecobank Mobile are requested to simply donate using the biller option under Donations on the Ecobank Mobile App.