The emergence of artificial intelligence deployment in corporate Ghana


Ghanaians are daily waking up to new waves of technological deployment in many sectors. The recent addition is in the financial industry, where most players in the banking and insurance sectors are seeking to enhance consumer experience by offering 24/7 customer services using Artificial Intelligence.

The influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) covers many sectors, such as manufacturing, finance, retail, healthcare, supply chain and logistics. The technology assists firms to understand their customers and to optimise marketing practices, especially in service delivery. AI is deployed in areas such as operational marketing – identification of risks and contact centre response management; B2B marketing – customer management; marketing strategy – resource management and competitive strategy; and marketing mix – branding, price, product, personal selling.

Artificial Intelligence is defined as “machines that mimic human intelligence in tasks such as learning, planning and problem-solving through higher-level, autonomous knowledge creation”. Players in the financial industry, such as banks, insurance in the financial technology (Fintech) firms, are using chatbots not only to enhance customer service delivery, such as providing financial literacy by educating customers on some common financial mistakes, financial security tips, etc., but they are also being used to increase sales.

Despite these benefits, firms are finding it difficult to use chatbots effectively. Chatbots struggle to understand certain consumer contexts, respond to some difficult questions, and carry out complex activities. Nevertheless, the popularity of chatbots is constantly growing and has led to their continuous development.

Chatbots are used to respond to daily consumer needs and boost communications between users/customers and brands. This innovative effect of chatbots has led to exploring the significance of the technology and its performance implications from information retrieval perspective, user experience perspective, linguistic perspective, business perspective, technology and corporate fits perspective. Currently, there are a number of researches onging at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) geared toward deepening our knowledge on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its tools, especially in the areas of comparing the usage and impacts of chatbots.

In Ghana and across the continent, chatbots like Nuru, Leo, Kukua, Rafiki, Keirabot, and Hazie automate services while being accessible and helpful to users. Users in Ghana and Kenya can currently use Nuru, developed by a Hungarian start-up, UX studio.

With Nuru, operators in the classified advertisements, agriculture, healthcare and financial sectors receive assistance. Leo, one of the pioneering chatbot in Ghana, was deployed by the United Bank of Africa (UBA) to give consumers a unique way to conduct financial transactions on social media. Kukua, introduced by the Fidelity Bank in Ghana, offers consumers a unique experience in banking. Keirabot frees users from the tiresome process of house-snooping by taking advantage of surfing features in Skype or Facebook Messenger.

Some of the research findings in AI and chatbot deployement in Ghana have shown that their roles are distinct and numerous, and are highly dependent on industry type. Despite the challenges in the implementation of chatbots, they are found to improve operations and enhance productivity.

Although the deployement of chatbots for customer experience and operations is spreading rapidly in Ghana, research findings suggest little customer education on the emerging technology to enhance confidence and utility.

From management perspectives, findings also show little knowledge among C-Suite executives. The adoption of AI and the implementation of its numerous tools, such as chatbots, have been mostly left to the IT department, and to a very less extent, the marketing and frontline departments. Top level and middle managemet executives are thus encouraged to enlighten themselves on AI and chatbots as emerging technologies to improve consumer experience in order to remain competitive. Chatbots are known to effectively map out customer journey, offering operational as well as strategic insights.

At regulatory level, the evidence is no different as there is little regulatory attention. The findings in Ghana show that most regulatory institutions have almost no appreciation of chatbots and their implications to industry performance, not to talk of their supervision. We thus recommend that regulators seek to understand this technology and their implications in order that they can develop the necessary framework to guide their deployment, performance and control.

The authors

Kobby Mensah is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS). Kobby’s teaching and research interests are in Political Marketing, Business Intelligence and Social Media. He is the editor of the book ‘Political Marketing and Management in Ghana: A New Architecture’.

Esther Abrah Adjei is an MBA Student at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), majoring in Marketing. Esther is a multichannel communication expert and event organiser with over five (5) years of experience in diverse industries.

Amin Ayarnah is a PhD student at the University of Ghana Business School. He is a certified digital marketing, customer experience, and blockchain professional. Amin is a Course leader and Tutor for CIMG short course certification in Blockchain Essentials and Digital Marketing. His research interests are in the areas of blockchain, digital marketing, customer experience, and artificial intelligence.


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