Banks to transition into bigger Fintecs -John Awuah
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB), John Awuah, has said that banks will soon transition into bigger fintech companies in the country.
With banks in the country continuously making investments to expand their digital footprints, the CEO said he foresaw a future where banks would no longer be competing with fintechs but would become bigger fintechs themselves.
Speaking in an interview with the Graphic Business at the “Money Summit”, he said he also expected a paradigm shift where the digital footprints of consumers would be the driving factor in the industry.
“We will get to a point, and we are approaching there, where the digital footprint of consumers will be the defining factor.
The future will see fewer human interactions, reflected in fewer mobile money agents,” he stated.
Need for collaboration
The Head of Fintech and Innovation at the Bank of Ghana, Kwame Oppong, also speaking at the summit, emphasised the need for collaboration between banks, telcos and fintechs to ensure progress in the industry.
He said competition was still high in the industry but there was the need for greater collaboration as well.“We can be friends in some circumstance and enemies in some circumstance but this is healthy for the overall progress of the industry.” he stated.
Mr Oppong also pointed out that lots of clients were now demonstrating clearly that it was more viable to build a business where consumers were given more choices in terms of digital financial services, adding that the BoG hoped to see more of this.“Our primary goal is to make sure the sector is safe and the industry is able to support the advancement of technology,” he stated.
Banks adoption of technology
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer at UMB Bank, Nana Dwemoh Benneh, said contrary to the opinion that banks had displayed a high degree of inertia toward the adoption of technology, they were at the forefront of the digital finance revolution.
He said banks had always had a deep understanding of customers, and that was what they required, and as a result, over the years they found themselves at the forefront of innovation.
He noted that while the fintechs had been more nimble, traditional institutions were beginning to roll-out solutions such as banking-as-a-service (BaaS) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which allowed for increased third-party participation, ensuring consumers were able to access all the required products and services from the same pot.
He added that since investors – who are increasingly concerned about the safety of their funds – feel more comfortable allowing banks to administer capital, this would see banks increase their interactions with fintechs, particularly in driving access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Financial services to be democratised
The CEO of GCB Bank, Kofi Adomakoh, also noted that financial services would become more democratised as banks and fintechs collaborated to drive innovation.
“We must see clearly what benefits of the synergies are and if the solutions are scalable, as a lack of clarity with these could undo all the possible benefits,” he remarked.
Mr Adomako was also convinced that optimistic growth figures in the fintech space could be attained owing to measures which had been put in place to ensure growth of the domestic market.
A research by Mckinsey & Company indicates Fintech revenues in Ghana could reach US$18.6billion by 2025.“That estimate might seem an aggressive number but it’s achievable if we continue to do the right things and implement good policies.
“There is no shortage of talent, and with the introduction of things such as the Ghana Card and registration of SIM cards, we are moving into a much more organised ecosystem, and this will help us grow,” he stated.
We will get to a point, and we are approaching there, where the digital footprint of consumers will be the defining factor