FINASTRA introduces digitization to Ghana’s banking sector

FINASTRA, a financial technological company has introduced its app, FusionFabric.cloud to Ghana’s Information Technology (IT) firms and banking industry.

According to the company, the FusionFabric.cloud, is FINASTRA‘s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution, that champions collaboration and encourages innovation by opening up core systems so third parties can develop applications on top by enabling the development of a previously unachievable range of services.

FINASTRA has evolved from packaged software to micro-services, open APIs and continuous delivery, made possible with platformification via open interfaces, standards and architecture.

Firms, such as banks, fintechs, system integrators, independent developers, consultants and even students can deliver innovative applications quickly and at low cost, transforming their own operations and development centers.

In all, about 40 financial institutions and IT firms were present to discuss the most finding topics of common interest, that is the digital banking and corporate forum.

Speaking on the theme: “Digital Transformation, Corporate Banking and Treasury Forum, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei Asare said: “The theme for this event reflects the growing recognition of the changing landscape in the financial sector in terms of terms of digitization, trade and payments and single treasury account management. Ghana’s payment systems have continued to evolve to meet the developmental needs of the country. This change is driven by economic, financial, public policy practice as well as a growing local ICT regime and global trends in payment systems development.”

She noted that well-developed payment systems prevent risks associated with payments, clearing and settlement systems, promote a strong supervisory regime.

According to her, Ghana’s recent interest in digitization is gradually permitting service providers to facilitate formal payments even in the absence of traditional accounts.

She added that the Bank of Ghana has so far registered Mobile Money transaction amounting to GHC 2.3 billion. This she said, has resulted in the growth rate of 84.6 percent compared to the 2016’s amount of 1.3 billion Ghana cedis. Mobile money transactions employed 194,688 agents in December 2017 as against 136, 769 in December 2016 registering a growth rate of 98.5 percent.

“As government is committed to position Ghana as an international financial service centre, our priority as a country are to attract the headquarters of major financial institutions, we want to establish strong technology platforms with strong infrastructure with financial services. It is therefore necessary to deepen the digitization process. We hope to transition from a cash economy to a cash lite one especially in this year. government is committed to a Ghana beyond aid, efficient mobilization of funds is key therefore a treasury bill account is paramount. It offers government agencies the opportunity of having real time visibility of all government bank accounts with the commissioner office,” she said.

In an interview with the B&FT, Deputy Head of ICT, APEX Bank, George Edward Neizer said he believes in the app because it can be put in a private cloud and therefore fits into the business model of the APEX Bank.

He said: “APEX Bank usually needs is a private cloud, something that is in-house because we already have such a system in place. We are not really like a commercial bank. So, we provide services to our customers especially in the rural banks. So, if you have a system that is such that you could put it in a private cloud that is the number one thing for us. The difference in this app is that their APIs is based on open API which gives you a lot of flexibility and it is very extensible. It is also componentized and that encourages a lot of flexibility. So, I think that it is a good solution that will help the banks.”