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Banks and Telcos Should not "Fight ...Vodafone Boss says, Amid Rising Concerns

Amid concerns that telcos are trying to operate as pseudo-banks without the regulatory rights and...

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Banks and Telcos Should not
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Amid concerns that telcos are trying to operate as pseudo-banks without the regulatory rights and privileges, CEO of Vodafone Ghana, Yolanda Zoleka Cuba, believes the two sides can work together and not "fight", so as to deepen financial inclusion. 

Addressing the banking fraternity at the 15th Ghana Banking Awards, she called for strong partnerships in a manner that will aggressively advance the course of financial inclusion in the country.

“We should not fight but work together to reach out to the unbanked in the country as it has become evident that consumers need simple and convenient services.”

Whilst a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey suggests the banks are concerned that the central bank’s framework could make it possible for the telcos to operate mobile money services independent of banks, capos in the banking sector have often said mobile money is not a threat.

Mike Nyinaku downplays mobile money threat

According to CEO of Beige Capital Group, Mike Nyinaku, in spite of the successes mobile money has chalked, “there is no way” it can overtake the traditional banking sector.

“Mobile Money service is a transaction enabler; it is not banking so the traditional importance of banking will not be replaced by the upsurge of the use of mobile money service,” he said.

The central bank indicates that the total value and volume of mobile money transactions have outstripped all other non-cash transactions, except cheques, reaching GH¢35.4billion last year, an increase of more than 216 percent over the 2014 data.

Also, total money float balances, which is money held in people’s mobile money wallets, reached about GH¢680 million ($172 million) as at the end of June this year, compared to about GH¢341 million over the same period last year.

Registered agents also reached 108,000 within the period, compared to about 36,000 for the same period last year.

No justification for 70% financially excluded

In calling for partnership and not resentment, the Vodanphone Ghana boss said there will be no justification for the country to have 70 percent of its populace financially excluded.

“In a digital era, no segment of society should be left behind in the quest to push financial inclusion because no economy will grow if 70 percent of its population are financially excluded,” she said.

The masses who have been excluded from the financial system are craving convenient and hassle-free services.”

She added that: “Banks must accept the paradigm and play along collaboratively because the nature of banking is going to change and the mobile money craze will not make the banks extinct.”

Banking Awards

The Ghana Banking Awards is an annual event of Corporate Initiative Ghana (CIG) that rewards innovation, excellence and professionalism in the banking sector.

This year’s edition was held on the theme: “Enriching a healthy competitive landscape in the drive for customer relevance in banking”.

Chairman of the Awards Planning Board, Nana Otuo Acheampong, said the awards have over the years increased public awareness on banks’ offerings aside deepening competition in the banking sector to efficient service delivery.

He said: “Through this awards, we have engaged banks to be focused on customers and that has led to innovation in the sector. Banks are also now sharpening their skills to serve their increasingly sophisticated clientele base.”

Fidelity Bank won the “Bank of the Year” award while that for “Best Enterprise and Corporate Banking went to Royal Bank. The award for “Best Bank in Cashless Transaction” was scooped by Zenith Bank while GCB Bank took home the award for “Most Active Ezwich Bank”.

 

Credit: thebftonline

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