Banks aggressively driving digital agenda- CIB President

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The President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB) Ghana, Patricia Sappor, has said that banks are aggressively driving their digital products and service to help government move the economy from a cash-based system into one that is near cashless or at least, cash-lite.

She emphasised that whilst banks are collaborating with fintechs and other technological entities to develop more convenient and user friendly digital platforms to enhance their operations, concurrently, they are also encouraging customers to jump onto the digital train with the use of the digital channels such as mobile apps, USSDs, internet banking, ATMs to facilitate banking transactions among others.

“One of the key impacts of the current pandemic is the emphasis on social/physical distancing and contactless payment options. The situation presents financial institutions with the opportunity for digital transformation both at the front and back office levels,” she said, adding that if banks would undertake this initiative effectively, it could result in efficient service delivery, quicker turn-around time and improvement in the overall service experience for bank customers.

Mrs Sappor, was speaking on the theme ‘Effects of COVID-19 on Corporate Ghana- the Banking Sector- Part 1,” which was part of a series of webinars organised by Krif Media Limited, publishers of Integrity Magazine.

Former Deputy Managing Director of Prudential Bank, Mary Brown, in her speech suggested that banks must set up a Special Credit Coordinating Room that will be responsible for selling and operationalizing the bank’s credit strategy in response to the crisis. This coordinating room, she said, will ensure a consistent and coherent response across all aspects of the bank’s lending operating model.

Deputy CEO of Ghana Association of Bankers, John Awuah, noted that credit expansion to productive sectors such as the manufacturing and SME financing, banks investing heavily to enhance fintechs’ capabilities, government introducing policy initiatives to redirect trajectory of credit expansion and the banking regulator proactively balancing the need for regulatory prudence and inertia post COVID-19 would revive the economy faster.

He stressed that banks have a duty to anchor the economy by cautiously continuing with credit expansion to productive sectors among others.

Kennedy Okosun, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Integrity Magazine (the organizers of the Webinar Series, discussed the need for stakeholders to find out how banks and other financial institutions in Ghana can better protect themselves from the harsh effects of the lockdown and still play their important role of being the engine of growth despite the impact of the COVID-19 on most businesses in the country.

Rev. Okosun also said that through these webinars being organized by Integrity Magazine, solutions will be proposed as to the way forward for policy makers and industry players to reduce the biting effect of the Corona virus on Corporate Ghana.

Some of the other speakers were: Head of Banking Supervision, BoG, Osei Gyasi; CEO of Zenith Bank Ghana, Akin A. Ogunranti and Deputy CEO of Ghana Association of Bankers, Abiola Bawuah.

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