Veep lauds banking industry for its role in steering digital economy


…calls for more collaboration to harness its full potential

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia has stated that the transformation of the national and continental economy hinges on the application of digital banking to serve as an enabler for trade facilitation.

Describing digitisation as “the present and the future”, he added that a robust digital economy would serve a dual purpose of alleviating poverty levels as well as increasing the profitability of participating banks as they expand their asset base.

Speaking at the 25th National Banking Conference, which had as its subject focus ‘The Digital Economy of Ghana: The Strategic Role of the Banking Industry’, he restated the need for public-private interactions to propel the digital economy and highlighted the key role of banks in the process.

“Now more than ever, it has become important to bridge the digital divide as we look to build a more resilient economy… fostering a digital economy is not only a priority for the government but is a shared responsibility for all stakeholders including active participation by the public and private sectors, with immense support of the banking industry.”

Dr. Bawumia singled out the banking industry, along with its regulator, the Bank of Ghana; and the oversight ministry, the Ministry of Finance for the support of various initiatives which are currently steering the current digital economy including the Ghana Card, portal, and the mobile money interoperability.

Urging the industry to double down on its efforts to drive financial inclusion, he pledged the commitment of the state to continue spearheading the digital economy by providing an enabling environment for all stakeholders.

“Let me say that the government is committed to championing this course and remains at the forefront of implementing these initiatives… with the introduction of the e-cedi in the offing, commercial banks should be proactive in developing digital products and assets for different categories of customers.

Banks should also leverage the digitisation effort of the government to improve credit to the private sector. As banks continue to invest in digital platforms to facilitate and ease trade and transactions, adopting a more fintech approach will spur innovation for the benefit of their customers.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Association of Bankers, John Awuah, who served as Chairman of the conference, said digitalisation has gained increased importance due to evolving customer demands. He tasked banks not to view the changing dynamics as an opportunity for excessive competition but rather a convenient way to collaborate more to address operational and knowledge gaps that exist in the market.

“We recognise that there is a huge role to play in pushing banks further to embrace endless possibilities with an increased focus on data analytics, understanding customer behaviour and strategic positioning of products to yield greater results; we cannot play this rile successfully if we are unwilling to partner with those across the table,” he said.

On her part, President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB), Rev. Patricia Sappor said the theme was apt owing to the rapid digital transformation which has occurred over the past 20 months, coupled with the strategic role of banks in the economy.

She expressed optimism that banks are working with the National Identification Authority (NIA) to create Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to connect to the national database for the purpose of onboarding clients and improving know your customer (KYC) processes. This, she said, will reduce incidents of fraud, reduce to cost of credit, and eradicate the geographical barriers faced by some businesses in accessing capital.

Rev. Sappor added that education and ethics cannot be excluded from the success of the digital economy. “In addition to creating the right digital footprint, backed by robust technology, a comprehensive education framework, professionalism and business ethics is crucial to the growth of the digital economy of Ghana.”

Leave a Reply