Staff of banks and financial institutions have been urged to adapt to the rapid developments in digitisation in order to stay relevant in the industry.
Speaking at the maiden Ghana Banking Sector Report Webinar organised by Business24 Media Limited, the Head of Channels at UMB Bank, Myles Hagan, cautioned that any banker who wants to remain employed would need to enhance their education and skills in digital banking operations.
“Presently, certain institutions have adopted working from home, which means you do not necessarily have to come to the office but can use digital tools to execute your functions. Moving forward, in terms of workforce and digital adoption, staff who can equip themselves with knowledge to use technology are in a better position to remain in their jobs, as against those that may find challenges in adopting digital tools,” he said.
Several major technological trends are converging and transforming digital banking services for businesses. The result is that banks across the country and beyond are waking up to growing competition and the changing demands of their clients.
Mr. Hagan said companies of all sizes across the continent are embarking on their own digital transformations.
Businesses want faster and more convenient methods to transfer funds and analyse their financial data. This means shifting away from manual paper-based processes and adopting electronic, increasingly automated payment processes that also allow more sophisticated, data-driven decisions, he said.
He also explained that digital channels such as ATMs, internet banking, and mobile apps have always been around, but it was the adoption and uptake that was missing.
However, he said, the onset of Covid-19 has spurred growth in digital adoption, with most entities in the ecosystem (banks, fintechs and allied services like telcos) reengineering their existing portfolio, which has affected processes.
“For example, if there was patronage initially of a mobile app, customers now want a little bit more than what used to be on the app. Most banks will be recording about 90 percent uptake in digital services—and that is very good. It helps us drive more uptake by advising customers and putting up educative materials so most customers will move towards digital rather than analogue.”
He added that banks need to provide a better, more relevant service, and invest in products that meet the changing customer needs of real-time, mobile, frictionless and simple banking.
On how well banks are prepared to meet the dynamics of customer expectations, he stated: “Most banks are enhancing their levels of investments in the adoption of predictive analysis, artificial intelligence and business analytical tools, which can help us preempt customer expectations. So what is going to happen is most banks can forecast that this customer per his strength may need this.”
At UMB, Mr. Hagan indicated, they have pushed digital uptake to 90 percent, and for the future they plan to ensure that all banking services are done digitally.