BFTBankingSurvey2022: Access Bank offers banking solutions and more for economic recovery

Access Bank
Olumide Olatunji, MD of Access Bank

The global pandemic changed the course of economies worldwide, negatively impacting human survival. Hard-hit sectors included health, employment, education, and businesses. COVID-19’s impact did not spare small and medium-scale industries. According to, between February 2020 and April 2021, 70 to 80 percent of SMEs across 32 countries lost between 30 and 50 percent of their revenues.

In Ghana, the statistics on COVID-19’s impact on the economy haven’t been different. 35.7 percent of business establishments had to close during the partial lockdown, with 16.1 percent continuing to be closed after the easing of the lockdown, and firms in the accommodation and food sector being the most affected; 24.0 percent had to close.

Just as economies were gradually coming out of the difficult repercussions of COVID-19, the Ukraine-Russia war brought a U-turn to the hopeful bounce-back anticipated by many; prospects for the global economy have darkened since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. (World Trade Organisation)

Because governments understand that threats to SMEs are threats to economies, they have prioritised supporting SMEs through programmes, such as direct financial assistance, public guarantees on loans, and tax relief. Access Bank Ghana has supported initiatives geared toward economic recovery through various programmes and platforms with notable interventions including SME support and product digitisation.

“Access to capital is critical for small business success and crucial to our economic recovery. Without access to capital, many small companies are not able to maintain operations, let alone expand and create new jobs.” (Sam Graves)

Access Bank has, over the past two years, provided SMEs a holistic approach to business solutions. The bank offers SMEs an opportunity to stay abreast with national and international business openings available to them through capacity-building workshops and clinics. The workshops, centred on the theme: ‘Boosting Digital Skills for Emerging Opportunities’, in partnership with Open Labs Technology, have been held in major cities and economic hubs in the country with more slated to take place in the year.

Since its commencement, over 6,500 SMEs have been empowered to digitise their businesses while receiving loans, advisory services and business protection products. Access Bank recognises the hindrances SMEs grapple with to access funds, and has proffered a solution through its Instant Business Loan (IBL) offering. IBL is an easy and quick way for SMEs to access up to GH¢100,000 for their businesses without collaterals. Since 2021, Access Bank has disbursed over GH¢25million to SMEs, bringing them the boost their businesses need.

Refreshing testimonies of some participants on our SME clinics and capacity-building sessions spur us on to do more. They attest that the knowledge received from the workshops has positioned their businesses to new heights with simple tools like their mobile phones.

One of the lessons COVID-19 taught the world is that technology can push any agenda one sets out to achieve. Access Bank revamped its digital products to offer more solutions to customers at the onset of COVID-19. The bank improved mobile banking services with high technology and speed, offering solutions to customers remotely. Customers are now able to do various transactions such as making statutory payment, insurance premium payments, requesting bancassurance products, among others, at the touch of a button. As a digitally savvy bank, we have ensured extra level of security for customers by incorporating a two-factor authentication feature on all our digital platforms to ensure customers have the best of service experience with us.

Customers now have the option of using soft or hard tokens during every transaction for their safety. Our USSD (*901#) currently enables customers to make payments, request cards and buy insurance using the GhQR and the GhanaPay.

Another significant aspect of our digital transformation journey for economic recovery is our Payment Systems Service. The bank has deployed terminals which accept contactless cards (Visa and MasterCard) and Mobile Money. Terminal Management Portals have been made available to merchants to provide real-time visibility of transactions. The AccessPay platform, a self-service web-based platform, allows for processing of salaries and third-party payments from the comfort of the office or the homes of our large corporates and SME clients.

As the world navigates these challenging times, you can always bank on our products and services as we journey together for full economic recovery.

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