- The surviving recapitalised banks have more to do in the era of e-commerce
- Central to e-commerce is the electronic exchange of information
- Traditional banking has more to gain in the digital economy
- Banking as we know it is changing and ours bank must act now
As banks venture into the electronic arena, however; they are finding that new opportunities bring new operational and strategic risks……John Wenniger
You see, most people fail to appreciate what the big picture called e-commerce is. It is not only what you see the likes of Africakart.com, Jumia or Tonaton do.
Wenniger in his write-up agrees that with the emergence of e-commerce, early companies which embraced it have used it as a means of reaching a wider target group, improved customer service, reduced cost of operation and, of course, for efficiency.
Central to e-commerce is the electronic exchange of information. This of course has helped companies all over the world to streamline transactional relationships with clients and suppliers.
Our banks here in Ghana have seen the light as described above in many other countries, and are looking to properly position in order to take full advantage of the emerging phenomenon. Managing projects in the banking sector, I have seen many executives express their desire to take advantage of the opportunities which electronic commerce brings. They are however unsure about how to properly position their bank operations to effectively so do. Is it simply a matter of transposing their role in traditional commerce into that of electronic commerce that will guarantee success?
Having been in e-commerce over the years, and also walking the corridors of the banking sector managing projects, I have come to appreciate the great opportunities as well as risks that the new e-commerce era brings to the banking sector.
In this series I will attempt to highlight the two as much as possible, and also suggest ways banks can better-position to win in this era and beyond.
Banks’ Traditional Roles
Typically, the Ghanaian banks’ e-business suite – supposedly meant to be their participation channels in the era of e-commerce – is made up of the following: a website to inform customers about their traditional banking products. However, a customer wanting to patronise any of the products has to visit the banking hall to do so.
They also offer bank cards which are largely used at ATMs situated primarily at premises of the banking halls. With limited POS access available to use cards for payments, most customers keep theirs only for withdrawals. This means one has to still visit the bank in order to make withdrawals.
Let me tell you a secret: to bank in the digital age is not all about having savings in fat accounts, but ready accessibility to one’s money, as small as it may be, for transfers or payment for goods or services in real time
To be continued……