The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Association of Bankers – Mr. John Awuah has asserted that, digital banking should now be the new normal in banking considering the fact that we are not in normal times because of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. John Awuah made this proposition on a sister media station where he discussed the general impact of novel coronavirus on the banking sector in Ghana in 2020. He averred that, just like any other industry was affected by the pandemic, the banking sector was not excluded, as general performance moderated in 2020 and the dynamics of banking operations optimised in response to the COVID-19 situation.
“Basically, the banking sector was equally affected last year by the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve seen the closure of businesses especially the hotels during the pandemic. It affected us too because we (banks) provide banking services to these hotels and other businesses. Therefore, anything that affects their cashflow will inevitably affect us too.”
“Aside being affected indirectly through other businesses, our operations were directly affected. Most of the branches have to be temporarily put on hold because of the pandemic, but fortunately for us as an industry, most of our services can be offered without necessarily being at the banking hall. Hence, all the banks resorted to digital banking in the heat of the pandemic.”
“About 80% of the things done in the banking hall can actually be done on the phone and laptops. As a matter fact, customers can be their own bankers by managing their own accounts through digital means.”
“Most of our customers are accustomed to the traditional banking procedure but during the pandemic, a huge number of them were compelled to resort to digital banking because it was basically the main avenue for people to perform their banking activities. Digital banking should now be the way to go because we’re not in normal times.”– Mr. John Awuah
The respected CEO of the Ghana Association of Bankers posited that, the major challenge faced with digital banking is the inability of some customers to use their digital platforms. Nevertheless, it should now be the new normal in banking because of the pandemic, and “we encouraging our customers to adapt to it.”
“It’s time for customers to be their own bankers. Digital banking gives the leverage to customers to be their own bankers. Bankers are not the ones sitting in the banking hall in suit and tie, our customers are now the real bankers because of digital banking, and that should be the way to go.”
Digital banking is the digitization (or moving online) of all the traditional banking activities and programs or services that were historically only available to customers when physically inside of a bank branch. This includes activities like
- Money Deposits, Withdrawals, and Transfers
- Checking/Saving Account Management
- Applying for Financial Products
- Loan Management
- Bill Pay
- Account Services
Intrinsically, digital banking combines traditional banking with the Internet. It provides regular banking services, but on a website or a mobile app.
In digital banking, the Internet is key in order to open a bank account, transfer funds, set up direct debits, make remote payments, send remittances and do other bank operations without visiting a branch. Additionally, the advent of mobile money has made it possible to perform banking activities in the absence of internet.
All banking transactions that are done digitally are carried out immediately, and involve a high level of financial management, security and flexibility for the user.