BFTBankingSurvey2022: Future of Banking with Ebenezer ASUMANG—a glimpse at banking trends that can drive sustainable performance

Future of Banking: Mobile Banking Innovation- competitive differentiator in 2022; part 1
Ebenezer ASUMANG,

Good banking is produced not by good laws, but by good bankers———-Hartley Withers, financial journalist and author

The banking industry, is without doubt not yet at the end of metamorphosis and has lots to do to catch up with the worldwide trends within the industry. Stakeholders are aware of the stiff competition and would therefore do everything in their capacity to stay in competition and become the best they can. Providing exceptional customer service in your bank is important in helping to attract and retain customers in a competitive landscape. As technology becomes more robust and customer-buying habits shift, banks must constantly be looking for areas of innovation and ways to meet the demands of a 21st-century customer.

As far as the industry`s areas of operation are concerned, Regulatory compliance, Increase in Capital requirement, Robust Technology application, Diversified Talents, etc. have played major roles in redefining the scope and level of transformation in Ghana. The industry requires very prudent but simple ways of making service delivery better. If you want to make banking easy, you have to look at the complete relationship because the needs of the customer can never be underestimated. Aside a checklists that include processes, locations, online, service delivery, products, choices, transparency; and image & identity, there are equally crucial non digital activities that should also be considered without fail, as they are key drivers of performance:

  • Empowerment of employees

Your customer service employees are your frontline. As such, they need to have the right resources to provide exceptional customer service. But many times they don’t. Far too many banks fall behind when it comes to providing their employees the tools they need to most effectively do their job. The result? Not only does customer service quality suffer, but employee morale as well. Inefficient and disorganized knowledge-based solutions result in confusion for your frontline staff. They can’t find the information they need which impacts their confidence and the confidence of customers. In order to change this, banks need to ensure that every employee has:

All too often the critical information employees need to effectively answer customer questions is buried in long policy documentation or only available by asking the “key go-to people” i.e. lending and managers. This inefficient system leaves customers waiting on hold and employees scrambling for information. Empowering employees with fast access to information and streamlined processes is the first step to improving employee productivity and employee satisfaction.

  • Financial literacy education for Customers:

The concept of educating potential and current clients on financial literacy is not necessarily new. What is new is how banks are choosing to do it today, and whom they’re now targeting. While financial literacy programmes have existed for many years, it is only recently that banks have recognized the value in bringing educational initiatives in-house. And these types of financial literacy programmes are to target a wide range of customers across the socio-economic spectrum.

When it comes to financial education, the benefits for banks are huge and the avenues to deliver that education are many. “At a time when competition in retail banking is fierce, targeted financial education programmes can open new roads into untapped populations, such as the evergreen underbanked and unbanked markets. In addition, financial education programmes can also create goodwill at the community level and strengthen relationships with local customers and community partners.

  • Become an Advisor, not just a Lender for small businesses:

Small businesses, post reforms and clean up, are looking for more than just a lender. They are looking for a business partner. For commercial banks and other non-bank financial institutions, this customer need has created a unique opportunity. Yet, many have not figured out quite how to move beyond the traditional lender role they have played for so long.

By acting as an advisor to small business clients, banks gain an additional revenue stream through fee-based services. “In the Netherlands, SNS Bank has reorganized its branches into a network of advisory-focused, cashless banking shops that serve as a physical extension of the Web. Branches are store-like outlets, have open spaces, and tablets that customers can use. Offering additional services beyond traditional lending, benefits the bank through additional revenue and the small business customer who gains a trusted financial partner.

  • Influencing Consumers to self-service:

Today’s consumers are increasingly more and more self-reliant. We’ve been conditioned by digital services like Netflix, Amazon, and Google to find what we want, and whenever we want so much so that we yearn for and expect it. Be it searching for a product or service, or changing the settings on our own account or service plan, the ability to do-it-ourselves is not only convenient and efficient, it’s empowering. Yet, most banks digital properties don’t provide great self-service support or how-to answers. Instead, consumers are shuttled down a path to call, head into a branch, or worse yet, give up on what it is they are trying to do or find.

In addition to product information and the ability to execute transactions, consumers want easy access to support related questions, like what is my routing number or how do I transfer money. Providing self-service support content across bank web, mobile, and online banking platforms improves consumer satisfaction levels, improves customer retention, and increase conversion, particularly when customer service departments are offline.

  • Client base segmentation with creation of personalized customer experiences:

With so much competition in the retail banking space, customers have choices. What’s more, consumer trust fell after the reforms (clean up) began. For institutions that wish to stay competitive and build customer trust, personalization and segmentation of both messaging and services is crucial. However one views the sector clean up, brand relationships were undermined to a large extent because of variations in customer trust. Difficult as the road is, financial service brands must strive to secure brand trust to build their brand. One of the key drivers of earning back customer trust is through superior personalized product offerings.

High quality products that meet customer needs are a key driver of trust in financial services. And with the massive amounts of customer data banks have in their possession, the untapped opportunities for personalization are almost endless. Through personalization technology, customers are also able to access the information they need immediately, without having to call the customer service line. And banks are able to proactively view and manage customer journeys to better target each customer on an individual level with products and services they need and want at that moment in time.

  • Ensuring (M)SME financing promise is not a lip service:

Banks have consistently initiated and promoted various lending products to SMEs for a number of years but survey/research shows that the penetration is still very low as many of these business owners indicate that their greatest need is financing. Programmes on “access to finance” for MSMEs across the regions, shows clearly the gap to be filled by banks in that respect.

SMEs are massive contributors to employment, growth and eventually GDP. Banks should follow through with their programmes and promises to ensure these firms receive the funding they greatly demand for business growth. This also avoids reputational risk which negatively gets attached to banks in that category.

About the Writer

Ebenezer  worked in banking & NBFIs for close to a decade. He researches, consults, writes, coaches, and speaks on access to innovative & sustainable finance and investment for MSMEs, and also women & youth groups in entrepreneurship.

He is a Development Communication professional, Innovative finance & investment analyst, Certified digital marketer, Sustainability enthusiast and Writerpreneur.

You can reach him at:

[email protected]/

LinkedIn:  Ebenezer Asumang

Instagram: eben_asumang

Facebook:  Ebenezer Asare Asumang




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