Stanbic Bank has held an Open Banking Dialogue in Accra. The Dialogue discussed the benefits of the open banking concept to the financial services industry. The two-stage event had a Forum and a two-day Hackathon that brought together 60 Fintech developers and industry experts to brainstorm on innovative solutions that would be relevant to the financial sector.
Open banking is a collaborative model in which banking data is shared through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) between two or more unaffiliated parties to deliver enhanced capabilities to the marketplace.
The panelists for the Forum were Stephen Sasu Yeboah, Chief Manager Payments System, Bank of Ghana, Henry Sampson, Head Research and Operations Dream Oval, Ashwin Ravichandran, General Manager MEST Ghana and Patrick Quantson, Head – Digital Transformation, Stanbic Bank.
Speaking on the need for such a conversation, Benjamin Mensah, Head Wealth Standard Bank West Africa said: “Stanbic Bank believes the ecosystem is prepared to drive digital financial services further and I’m excited we are the first to be championing the conversation of Open Banking in Ghana. We hope this conversation will give local Fintechs the opportunity to work with us.”
The model has been used around the world for decades to support personal financial management software, to present billing detail at bank websites, and to connect developers to payments networks like Visa and Mastercard. To date, however, these connections have been used primarily to share information rather than to transfer monetary balances.
“The Bank of Ghana has since 2008, created the needed infrastructure to support Fintech and Banks to build digital solutions. We believe this is the way to reach our goal of financial inclusion and the recent Global Findex is a proof of Ghana’s digital financial service industry” said Stephen Sasu Yeboah, Chief Manager, Payment Systems, Bank of Ghana.
Players in the emerging FinTech market in Ghana face the barrier of access to information to provide better customer experience and provide realistic for customers thereby limiting innovation and opportunities for the FinTech.
The potential benefits of open banking are considerable. These include improved customer experience, the uncovering of new revenue streams and a sustainable service model for traditionally underserved markets.
At number of projects emerged at the end of the dialogue. These cover areas such as loan application, online invoices for SMEs, customer query management, and online onboarding and identity verification. Others were investment tracking, social media engagement, payment plans for customers, customer profiling and remote account set up.