Mr. Martin Kwame Awagah, the President of the Ghana Fintech and Payments Association, has advised that the country can deepen financial inclusion and propel economic development amid the current economic hurdles by strategically positioning financial technology firms (fintechs) to leverage the latest technological advancements.
Fintech simply describes the use of technology to deliver financial services and products to consumers.
Mr. Awagah, who has always been an influencer and a catalyst for social inclusion in the development process of financial inclusion averred that the fintech industry has potential to lead the country’s recovery efforts.
“This can be done by leveraging digital technology to develop new products and services that meet the needs of consumers who are facing financial challenges in the country. Thus, a customer-centric but yet affordable digital product.”Mr. Martin Kwame Awagah
Government in collaboration with the World Bank under the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy in 2020 issued new policies aimed at increasing financial inclusion from 58 percent to 85 percent by 2023; thus creating economic opportunities and reducing poverty.
Mr. Awagah urged fintechs to collaborate with other players in the ecosystem; such as banks and regulators to create a more robust and inclusive financial system, as well as offer digital payment solutions that can help limit the cost of transactions and increase access to financial services for underserved populations.
Not limited to that, he further encouraged fintechs to prioritize customer education and engagement so as to build trust and loyalty, stating that “By providing educational resources and support to customers, Fintechs can help them navigate the financial challenges they may be facing and build stronger relationships with their customer base.”
Emphasizing on the need for strategic partnership between fintechs and other players in the financial sector, Ing. Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, divulged that the challenges being faced by the country at the moment requires a lot of collaboration to really transform the nation.
“Fintech must be well-positioned to be able to support the country’s recovery effort. The need for fintechs is really a major one to support development of the informal sector and growth of the economy.”Ing. Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey
A Call For Moderate Regulations In The Financial Sector
Meanwhile, according to industry players, progress in promoting financial inclusion and digitization could be undermined by excessive regulation of the financial technology space.
According to players in the financial sector, while reasonable regulation is key to healthy competition, growth and development, too much of it can be counterproductive, hence, stifling innovation and serving as a barrier for new entrants.
Lamenting on extreme regulations imposed on financial sectors, the Country Manager of DPO Pay, Mr. Frank Anwelle noted that if not checked, could hinder the burgeoning fintech space.
“Our challenges really have to do with regulations, and that’s why we need the Ghana Fintech Association to come in and see how they can sanitize the space for us. Regulators should soften requirements for fintechs to allow for greater innovations and competition.”Mr. Frank Anwelle