Bank customers want investment in technology— PwC survey

The headoffice of PwC in Accra.

The headoffice of PwC in Accra.

Banks must invest in modern technology and have a complete understanding of the changing demographic trends and customer sophistication in order to meet the changing needs of customers.

They must also simplify products and channels of delivery to enhance customer experience with lower levels of operational risks.

These are some of the findings of the 2015 Ghana Banking Survey, on the theme, “Bank of the future: What bank customers want to experience by 2020.”

The survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed that 68 per cent of the respondents rated technology as one area that they expected their banks to invest in.

The respondents were of the view that banking technology was supportive of transferring more of control over their banking life.

Mr. Kwame Ansa Akufo, Senior Manager, Advisory Services who presented the findings of the survey at a ceremony in Accra yesterday said the survey showed that customers were demanding higher levels of service, pushing banking to catch up with other industries.

The survey gauges the opinion of senior banking leaders on the possible future shape of the Ghana banking industry in 2020.

Customers’ thoughts were also collected via their responses to scenario-based questions framed around five elements of banks’ business and operating models: that is products and services, channels, technology, organisation, and talent.

Mr. Akufo said their demographics were evolving, creating demand for new products in new places.

 He said the changes in consumer preferences would drive new multichannel models, and reshape traditional branch banking.

“This would not be just new products or offerings, but doing things differently across the entire business model but new skills and capabilities would be needed to enable the change,” he said.

He said while regulations were impacting banks within the competitive landscape, technology had emerged as potent enabler of enhanced customer experience and operational efficiency.

He cited collaborations to introduce new products — bancassurance, mobile or digital banking — self-service, kiosks, digital financial centres, equipped with modern communication, equipment, agent status in the mobile money product, deposit-taking ATMs, and card-less ATMs, as some key bank initiatives, in motion and or planned by banks towards 2020.

“Mobile banking, SMS alerts intelligent ATMs facilitating off-branch deposits, ATMs as channels for bill payment, airtime top-up, mobile wallet cash-outs, GhIPPS piloting ATM biometric Authentication Cards (international and domestic), POSs are some of the channels that some banks are currently using while others are preparing to adopt,” he said.

Mr. Franklin Belnye, Director, Banking Supervision Department, Bank of Ghana, who was the guest speaker at the event agreed with the findings of the survey especially the emphasis on the need for banks to invest in technology

He however, stated that the bank of the future must not only be technology-driven, but must also be cognisant of the risks posed to its patrons.

This he said required investment in people, systems, and processes that afford not only convenience but affordability as well.

“The central bank stands ready to support this process with an appropriate regulatory framework,” he said.

By David Adadevoh

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