Banks urged to offer more digital solutions to customers

Banks urged to offer more digital solutions to customers

President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Rev. Mrs Patricia Sappor, has urged banks to  deepen their  collaboration  with  the  financial and technology (Fintech) organisations  to  enable  them  offer   more   digitised   solutions  to  customers.

She believed a lot of banks had intensified their digital operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but there was still more to be done to improve efficient service delivery.

According to her, banks could reduce operational cost by employing innovative means of doing business, in addition to encouraging clients to patronise digital channels such as Mobile Applications, USSDs, Internet Banking, among others.

Speaking at a virtual seminar to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 on the banking sector, Mrs Sappor tasked banks and other financial institutions to “proactively stay in touch and build good relationships with their clients” and support them through difficult times.

“One of the key impacts of the current pandemic is the emphasis on social distancing and contactless payment options. The situation presents financial institutions with the opportunity for digital transformation both at the front and back office levels,” she said.

Increase partnership with technology firms, she noted, could result in “efficient service delivery, quicker turn-around time and improvement in overall service experience for customers.”

While urging banks to continue observing all COVID-19 protocols, she further urged individuals and entrepreneurs to develop a savings culture.

“Banks have had to re-strategise and re-prioritise projects with the influx of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Banks can no longer go back to their old ways of operating since the needs and psyche of customers have changed significantly as a result of COVID-19,” Mrs Sappor noted.

She said procurement of PPE and other items for the wellbeing of staff and customers had, to some extent, increased the operation cost of banks, adding that the pandemic had also led to low deposits, non-performing loans, among other challenges.

“Shareholders may, therefore, experience low returns on their investments and some may not even receive dividends at the end of 2020 financial year,” she added.

The virtual seminar, hosted by Krif Media Limited, brought together players in the industry to deliberate on measures to handle the impact of the pandemic on the sector.

Rev. Kennedy Okosun, Executive Chairman of Krif Ghana Limited, also asked stakeholders to implement strategies to help protect financial institutions from the effects of the pandemic so they could continue to be the “engine of growth” for businesses.

Mrs Abiola Bawuah, Regional CEO of United Bank of Africasaid even though COVID-19 had hit the sector hard, it had presented various opportunities for “thinking outside the box and we must all learn lessons for future interventions.”

Mrs. Mary Brown, former Deputy Managing Director of Prudential Bank, in her speech suggested that banks must set up a “Special Credit Coordinating Room that will be responsible for selling and operationalising the Bank’s Credit Strategy in response to the crisis.”

By Spectator Reporter

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