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Leverage technology to achieve financial inclusion —Rural banks told

Managements of rural banks across the country have been urged to invest in technology as a medium of reaching the under-banked and the unbanked in their catchment areas to achieve financial inclusion.

The board chair of the Ga Rural Bank in Amassaman, Accra, Nana Bram Okae II, gave the advice on Saturday at the Rural Banking Week celebration of the Greater Accra chapter of the Rural and Community Banks (RCBs).

He explained that leveraging technology would also go a long way in creating a strong set up for individual banks.

RCBs, he said, had painstakingly provided financial services to people of all levels to the point of understanding and appreciating basic banking principles, thereby opening them up to the limitless opportunities available in the industry.

He bemoaned that main stream banks, having realised the potentials in the sector had attempted to thwart the efforts of RCBs by allegedly spreading untruths in order to take undue advantage and killing the hard-earned reputation of RCBs.

“Despite the negative stories, we continue to survive and grow and our existence has been a testimony of our achievements so far,” he added.

According to Nana Okae II, RCBs continued to provide excellent customer service while ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements and Bank of Ghana (BoG) directives.

As agents of development, RCBs, he said had made significant contributions to the development of their catchment areas, adding that apart from the creation of jobs, RCBs were on record as having supported various projects in their catchment areas that served the needs of the people in the communities in which they operate.

Nana Okae II assured that RCBs would continue to deliver innovative banking solutions to meet the needs and aspirations of their cherished customers with focus on empowering rural dwellers within their catchment areas.

The General Manager of the Ga Rural Bank, Mr Daniel Benjamin, indicated that throughout history, RCBs had played important and supportive roles a vital infrastructure for the rural economy.

He said, “We continue to lead the path in advancing inclusive financial growth with our knowledge of the rural and community markets and unparallel passion to serve the needs of our clients.”

Touching on the difficulty in curbing impairment losses in the sector, Mr Benjamin advised borrowers to ensure they repaid their loan facilities promptly to enable others benefit.

In an address read on his behalf, the deputy managing director of ARB Apex Bank, Mr Alex Akwasi Awuah, commended the government for supporting his outfit and the various RCBs in upgrading their Information Communication Technology (ICT) systems and infrastructure and enable the introduction of digital financial services and agency banking.

A mobile application, gaconnect, for the Ga Rural Bank was launched.

BY RAISSA SAMBOU

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