Banks’ digital cash services lack publicity – BoG
The financial services sector is awash with digital cash services and products, yet little is done by the innovators to help create public awareness and usage of same, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has observed.
The lack of publicity for the products and services was a major drawback to the digital revolution, the Director of Payment Solutions at the Bank of Ghana, Dr Settor Amediku, said at the launch of Zenith Bank’s ‘Go Lite with Zenith Bank’ campaign.
“We have witnessed the zeal and enthusiasm coming from banks to introduce various forms of products and services.
However, our major concern has been whether these products are even known by the staff of these institutions.
This is the major problem we are facing as a central bank,” he observed.
He said although the central bank in 2018 alone approved 40 digital-based products and services for banks and otherpayment service providers, most of the products were still unknown to the public, with the innovators doing little to attract public attention for their inventions.
As a result, he said, plans were underway by the central bank to encourage banks and other payment service providers to showcase their products and services to the public to help whip up enthusiasm in the digital space.
He said although the BoG was happy with the interest shown by companies in the provision of digital service products, obtaining approval for a product or service from the central bank without the product being known to the public was not the best.
“When approvals are granted, these products need to be made known to the people so there have been discussions to explore the possibility of celebrating financial services week where we will bring together all the service providers, banks, financial technology companies (fintechs), mobile money operators to come and showcase their products and services to the people,” he said.
Dr Amediku explained that banks needed to be proactive by making their products and services known to the public because the country was gradually moving towards the stage where most payments would be digitised.
“It is not only about coming in with nice figures telling the central bank that a product needs to be approved; there must be a justification by looking at the returns you bring to the bank,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Amediku has commended Zenith Bank for raising awareness of its digital-based products and services.
He said the ‘Go Lite with Zenith Bank’ campaign would ensure that the public was familiar with the bank’s digital products and services.
“This should complement the government’s agenda of moving the country towards a cashless society,” the BoG’s Director of Payment Solutions stated.
“The central bank is very impressed with Zenith Bank for taking this bold step to bring out all the approved products and services that they have to make them known to the public,” he said.
With the traditional methods of handling physical cash becoming less attractive, the Managing Director of Zenith Bank Ghana, Mr Henry Oroh, said the bank had, over the past 14 years, pioneered the adoption of digital solutions in the country’s financial market with tried and trusted products that satisfied the dynamic trends of its customers.
As a result, he said, the ‘Go Lite with Zenith Bank’ campaign would reintroduce the bank’s refined products to customers in a bid to provide a ‘366 day 24/7’ excellent customer experience.
“As a bank on a continent with an average age of 20 years and an un-banked ratio of approximately 70 per cent, Zenith Bank continues to set itself apart to serve this ever-growing market that is tech savvy and highly innovative,” he said.
The managing director explained that the vision of the bank, when it was established, was to be a reference point in the provision of prompt, flawless and innovative banking products and services in the banking industry.
“Our grand objective has always been to make the Zenith brand, a reputable international financial institution recognised for innovation, superior customer service and financial performance,” he said.
To that end, Mr Oroh said, the bank had developed a number of digital products and service that would enhance customer experience in line with its core values.
“The bank has partnered strategically with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to offer our customers a seamless mobile money ‘Ban2wallet’ experience across our various electronic channels such as internet banking, Zmobile App, GlobalPay web acquiring and very soon on our close to 1000 Point of Sale terminals nationwide,” he said.
Mr Oroh said Zenith bank was among the first in the banking industry to launch an app-based mobile banking service known as Z-Mobile which was available for both Apple and Andriod devices.
“The bank has since enhanced information security for users of the app and upgraded login credentials, thus harmonising credentials across Zenith’s internet banking and the Zenith Mobile app seamlessly.
“Some of the notable features of the Z-Mobile app include allowing customers to check balances on their accounts, view transaction history, top up investments, set up beneficiaries, effect instant intra- bank and interbank transfers via the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP) service as well as pay bills,” he said.