#OutstandingBrands2021: Zenith Bank – driving financial inclusion with innovative digital banking products and services


Since its inception over fifteen years ago, Zenith Bank Ghana has been an industry leader – driving financial inclusion with its vast array of digital banking products and services. Zenith has continued to set new records in the industry by using the best people and cutting-edge technology as the biggest drivers of growth.

At the 10th Ghana Information Technology and Telecom Awards (GITTA) 2020, Zenith Bank was recognised as the Best Bank for Financial Inclusion. For most industry watchers, this award cemented the bank’s ethos of consistently leveraging technology to bring innovative digital products and services to its growing customers base.

An analysis of the industry’s contribution to deepening financial inclusion points to the bank’s entrenched involvement in this drive via the introduction of many firsts. The most recent of such trendsetting moves was launching the Bank’s Eazypay GH Dual Card (Eazypay Card), which combines the e-zwich and Gh-Link functions and is powered by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).

Zenith Bank is also one of the banks that has deployed the GhQR service on its USSD code *966#. The GhQR service, introduced by GhIPSS, is a new and easy way to make payments to merchants by scanning a QR Code displayed at merchant premises with one’s mobile phone; or by dialling a USSD code (e.g.*123#) of his or her payment service provider and following the prompts to pay any merchant irrespective of where they received their GhQR point of sale display. The merchant gets the money instantly via electronic means, just like paying with cash.

The bank has since inception ensured the continuous development and roll-out of a wide array of innovative digital banking products and services that are user-friendly and provide absolute convenience to customers.

Besides enabling the traditionally banked to carry out financial transactions with greater ease, digitisation has been known to promote financial inclusion. Digital channels afford the unbanked an opportunity to leapfrog barriers to brick-and-mortar banking – such as cost and infrastructure – that historically have excluded them from the financial system, enabling them to perform simple banking transactions anytime, anywhere.

According to the 2019 Report by the World Bank on Ghana, the nation had been noted as one of the fast-growing mobile money markets on the African continent.

It is estimated that about half the 20% of Ghanaian adults who have mobile money accounts do not have a bank account – proving that mobile money is not just an enabler of cheaper and more convenient financial services for those who already have access, but is also spreading the net to reach those who were previously financially excluded.

With increasing growth in mobile money transactions in terms of value and volume, Zenith Bank’s introduction of innovative products and services in partnership with major telecommunication and FinTech companies is truly deepening financial inclusion across the length and breadth of the country.

Some of the key products that are transforming lives include the USSD code *966#, which allows clients to instantly open an account without visiting the branch, transfer funds; and enables individual, SMEs and large corporates to receive payments in real-time directly into their accounts.

In collaboration with card giants such as Visa, Mastercard and some FinTech companies, the bank has also launched a wide array of card products that can be used to easily effect banking transactions anytime, anywhere in Ghana and around the world. Some of these are the Zenith Contactless Visa Cards (Debit, Prepaid and Credit), Zenith MasterCard (Credit, Debit, Prepaid Cards), Zenith Corporate MasterCard and the Zenith MasterCard Executive Travel Card.

To underscore its broad-based appeal and reach, the bank also has the Cruz-Card which provides staff and students of academic institutions access to financial products and services, and serves as a photo ID as well as access control card. It is also a Visa-enabled stored value card. It is globally accepted on any Visa channel, which adds to its convenience and ease of use.

Travelling? No problem. The Bank’s GlobalTravelWalletCard is an instant Visa prepaid foreign currency denominated card, issued to travellers by Zenith Bank in partnership with participating foreign exchange bureaux. Among other benefits, the card eliminates the risk of exchange rate fluctuations.

Other digital banking products and services which have enabled the bank to stand out include its Internet Banking Service that caters to individuals and corporates; and ZMobile, a revolutionary mobile banking application that enables customers to effect instant interbank transfers, set up beneficiaries for transfers, top-up investments, pay utility bills and more, right from any mobile device.

Looking to make payment via a Point of Sale (POS) Terminal? Zenith Bank has got you. Its terminals allow customers to process card transactions electronically on real-time basis. In addition to allowing verification of transactions either by biometric/PIN/signature, the Bank’s terminals conveniently enable customers to ‘tap and pay’ for their purchases.

To confirm its leadership in the digital space, the bank has over the years been honoured by both local and international awarding institutions. Truly, the Financial Inclusion Award at the Ghana Information Technology and Telecoms Awards 2020 affirms the bank’s strides in the digital space over the past decade and a half.

Awards such as Most Cashless Bank in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by the Ghana Banking Awards, Best Prepaid Initiative of the Year (Zenith Platinum Prepaid Mastercard) and Best Fintech Bank Collaboration of the Year by Ghana Information Technology & Telecom Awards in 2019 go to show the bank’s tremendous contribution in the space.

Other awards the bank has won include: The World Finance Magazine’s Best Banking Group in Ghana award 2020; International Finance Magazine’s Best Customer Service Bank in Ghana 2020 award; Global Business Outlook’s Most Customer Centric Bank Ghana 2020 award Ghana Business Standard award’s Outstanding Bank of the Year 2020; as well as Bank of the Year 2020 by the Ghana Business Awards.

The bank believes the momentum that digital finance has gained in Ghana will continue for years to come – driven by government and regulatory initiatives, innovation by service providers, increasing financial literacy, and an improving economy. It is therefore poised to take advantage of both the opportunities and challenges this evolution will certainly present; by continuously investing in its people and infrastructure, innovating its products and services, exploring strategic partnerships, and putting the customer at the heart of everything it does.

Zenith Bank Ghana is a subsidiary of Zenith Bank Plc with its Head Quarters in Lagos, Nigeria. It has presence in Sierra Leone, The Gambia and United Kingdom, as well as representative offices in Dubai, South Africa and China.

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