In an effort to enhance its competitive advantage to spur growth, Ahafo Community Bank Limited at Kukuom in the Asunafo North Municipality of Ahafo Region has rolled out a number of technology-driven services.
The services include installation of ATMs, electronic mobile banking (E-susu), mobile phone SMS alerts and U-Connect among others. The bank has completed the ATM installation at its Kukuom headquarters while work on the Goaso branch is ongoing; it is expected to be ready for use within this year.
In an interview with B&FT, General Manager-Ahafo Community Bank, Pobi Antwi Donkor, said the elevation of Goaso as regional capital of Ahafo makes it businesswise to improve its services to withstand growing competition in the banking space there. He added that the bank will later install more ATMs at Kasapin and other branches at Mim, Sankore and Kenyasi.
“The E-susu system will improve deposit mobilisation. The system as well as the mobile phone SMS alert have also been introduced to check the high level of fraud associated with mobile banking service. This will further boost public confidence in our operations,” he said.
The bank has also initiated steps to extend its services beyond the current operational area to enhance growth. It has therefore planned to open branches in Kumasi and Dadiasoaba, and a mobilisation centre at Aboum near Sankore in the Asunafo South district.
“With achievement of the stated capital in 2019 and resurgence of public confidence in the bank, and for that matter the banking industry, it has become imperative to open up our services to the larger population through expansion; hence the proposed two branches and a mobilisation centre,” the General Manager stated.
The above strategies are expected to impact positively on the performance indicators by end of the 2020 financial year and beyond. Mr. Donkor revealed that the bank has budgeted to mobilise about GH¢14million deposits, representing a 20 percent increase over the 2019 achievement of GH¢13million.
The bank has projected to increase loans and advances by 15% from GH¢4.5million to GH¢5.5million. Because the bank’s catchment area features predominantly cocoa-growing communities, about 65 percent of the 2020 loans portfolio will be given to cocoa famers – targetting about 200 of them. The remaining 35 percent will be disbursed among other food crop farmers, and potential loanees such as monthly salaried workers.
With the recent collapse of many fund management firms, thus making investment unattractive, the bank has budgeted to marginally increase short-term investment from GH¢5.5million to GH¢6.5million. The bank’s total assets are also expected to impressively soar by 30 percent from the current GH¢15.20million. The share capital as at 31st December 2019 stood at GH¢1.2million, and the bank hopes to increase its capital base by GH¢300,000 by the end of 2020.