BFTBankingSurvey2022: Humanise the digital experience for innovative banking solution and financial inclusion to bounce back stronger

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Digitization is the conversion of data into a digital format with the adoption of technology. Adoption of digitalization is very important for the banking sector. By embracing digitalization, banks can provide enhanced customer services. This provides convenience to customers and helps in saving time. Digitalization reduces human error and thus builds customer loyalty.

Today, people have round-the-clock access to banks due to online banking. Managing large amounts of cash has also become easier. Digitization has also benefitted customers by facilitating cashless transactions. With these, Customers need not store cash anymore and can make transactions at any place and time.

Indeed the very importance of digitization and technology in banking systems around the world of which Ghana is an inclusion, is to promote and sustain the campaign of financial inclusion.

Though Ghana ultimately has a  strategy that seeks to increase financial inclusion from 58 percent of the adult population to 85 percent by 2023 – a plan by the Ministry of Finance, there are however many challenges to fostering financial inclusion, particularly in the sub region.

The Open Knowledge Repository of the World Bank Group has said Ghana has low levels of financial inclusion of individuals and access to finance for firms remains a major challenge; some of the key issues include low ownership and usage of accounts, dominance of cash, limited access points, and high collateral, overall limiting outreach.

Financial inclusion figures fare well compared to the Sub- Saharan Africa region, but in absolute terms only 40.5 percent of adults have an account at formal financial institution.

While the use of digital tools and technology has been overwhelmingly embraced within the banking sector, such tools must be humanized to help improve access to affordable financial products and services.

Humanizing the digital experience will entail education and awareness on the use of digital tools and technology for banking activities not only by the educated class but by trade groups and associations in agriculture, agribusiness, SMEs among others. The process of leveraging digital tools for banking procedures must be adequately tailored for the use of these segment of the population since they form a chunk of the country’s workforce.

Financial inclusion is the cornerstone of not only a fair, equitable society but also a thriving economy. Boosting financial inclusion and access to finance can make crucial contributions to economic development, enabling social mobility and ensuring that the largest number of people can participate fully and effectively in economic life.

The World Banks defines financial inclusion in its simplest term to “mean that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit, and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way”.

Financial inclusion helps to solve a number of societal issues, such as economic growth, employment, poverty, and income equality in both developed and developing countries. However, the issues and challenges of fostering financial inclusion are particularly salient in the developing world.

It is positively associated with GDP growth, by up to 14 percent in developing economies. As a key element of social inclusion, financial inclusion is especially useful in tackling income inequality and poverty by increasing advancement opportunities for disadvantaged populations in emerging economies.

Access to a transaction account is usually seen as the first step towards financial inclusion by enabling people to make and receive payments, as well as save their money.

This means that they can live their lives more easily, move towards achieving their goals, prepare for emergencies, grow their businesses, invest in education and health care, and gain easier access to other financial services, such as insurance and credit.

Although significant steps have been made to increase financial inclusion – World Bank data indicates that 69 percent of adults worldwide have a transaction account – roughly one-third of adults, about 1.7 billion people, remain unbanked, according to its latest Findex Report.

The report also highlights the barriers women face. Despite overall progress in financial inclusion, the gender gap in account ownership has remained persistent at nine percentage points since 2011.

It is for this reasons that digital tools that seek to promote innovative banking solution for financial inclusion, must at best be as friendly as possible but not intimidating. When the digital experience is ‘humanized’ and becomes more user friendly, the banking sector’s quest to bounce back stronger from the current global challenges will be more than attainable and sustainable.



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