Rural banks urged to leverage GhanaPay for growth

Rural and Community Banks
Alex Awuah, MD, ARB Apex Bank PLC

Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) have been urged to embrace and leverage the opportunities associated with the new GhanaPay service to grow their fee incomes so as to consolidate growth and development.

The GhanaPay is a mobile money service provided by universal banks, rural banks, and savings and loans companies to individuals and businesses. It is somewhat a mobile money service, but it comes with additional banking services specifically designed for financial freedom.

“We encourage RCBs to leverage this new service to issue wallet accounts to existing and new customers, as well as set up bank agents. Let us also embark on a major crusade to get our customers and the public registered,” Alex Kwasi Awuah, Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, has said.

He made the call in a speech read for him at the 32nd Annual General Meeting of Nsoatreman Rural Bank, held at Nsoatre in the Sunyani West Municipality of the Bono Region.

Although the official date inviting the public to update their bank records with Ghana Card elapsed on July1, 2022, he entreated RCBs to ensure that all their customers updated their records with the Ghana Card as it has become official identification requirement for all bank transactions, adding: “This is essential because third party transactions without the Ghana Card are not allowed by the law”.

ARB Apex stated capital

The stated capital of ARB Apex Bank has been at GH¢9million for years. This according to the MD, was insufficient to undertake big ticket transactions on behalf of the sector. The bank has, therefore, been making efforts to shore up the minimum capital by raising equity from member RCBs, but the attempts have been unsuccessful, he stated.

To this end, the Board of Directors of Apex, Mr. Awuah noted, have approved a new four-year strategic plan aimed at raising GH¢25million over a five-year period, in equity from RCBs. The Apex Bank MD appealed to RCBs to help achieve the objective in order to make it formidable for the future.

Banking fraud

Banking fraud perpetrated by staff, he indicated, has been identified as a threat in the banking sector. As per the 2020 fraud report by the Bank of Ghana, the sector has become more susceptible to the canker due to the increased use of innovative technologies for business transactions. RCBs industry level cash suppression by staff remains a significant challenge as identified in the report, he added.

The ARB Apex Boss, therefore, urged management of RCBs to institute the necessary mechanisms to ensure that cash suppression and MoMo fraud are minimised.

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