In an effort to reinforce its competitive urge and consolidate growth, the Kintampo Rural Bank Limited has initiated steps to roll out a number of electronic banking products in 2018.
The bank has procured three ATM machines, ready for installation at its headquarters at Kintampo, in the Brong Ahafo Region, and two other branches at Techiman market and Buipe in the Northern Region.
The ATMs are expected to be functional latest by the second quarter of the year. Prior to the installation, the bank is in the process of issuing GH-Link ATM cards to its customers.
Kintampo Rural bank is also poised to fully implement U-connect platform – a mobile money app, linked to customers’ accounts.
The system was installed around late 2017 and is expected to be fully operational in 2018.
With the U-connect, customers can access their accounts via mobile phones and make withdrawals at other Rural and Community Banks (RCBs).
The General Manager of Kintampo Rural Bank, Martin Mensah, told the B&FT that the key objective for the introduction of more e-banking products is to make the bank technology-driven to compete effectively in the dynamic banking industry.
He continued that the bank has activated transflow software, and that transactions with the University of Cape Coast and the Kintampo Water Supply System are currently operational.
He further disclosed that the bank has signed MoUs with selected Mobile Money (MoMo) agents in 50 communities.
It is aimed at expanding the bank’s financial inclusion drive to cover more remote communities within its catchment area. These MoMo agents will help village folk access basic banking services via the MoMo system, he added.
Under the USAID Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (USAID FinGAP), Kintampo Rural Bank, in 2017, disbursed GH¢1,428,810 to about 138 smallholder farmers for the cultivation of maize, rice and soy. The bank plans to increase allocation to the project to benefit about 250 farmers in 2018.
Loan disbursement under USAID FinGAP would be just a fraction of the GH¢13.2 million loans and advances budget for 2018. Of the total figure, the bank will give out about GH¢2 million to about 250 micro business operators.
The 2018 micro businesses’ budget is an increase over the 2017 figure of GH¢1.2 million which benefited about 150 groups.
Kintampo Rural Bank is also a partner to government’s flagship ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme. It is in charge of receiving deposits for the subsidised fertilizer as well as farmers’ repayment, covering the Kintampo North and Techiman Municipalities and Kintampo South District.
These operational activities, coupled with the bank’s budgeted investment of GH¢17 million, will help the course of achieving the projected profit of GH¢1.8 million, Mr Mensah noted.
In 2017, the bank made a profit of a little over GH¢1.27 million (unaudited). The bank is rated 68th among Ghana Club 100 companies; it has been in the Club 100 since 2009.