Banks urged to develop apps for their products

• Mr Abdul-Latif Issahaku, Innovations Manager of MTN Ghana throwing light on the competition. Picture: Charles Benoni Okine• Mr Abdul-Latif Issahaku, Innovations Manager of MTN Ghana throwing light on the competition. Picture: Charles Benoni OkineBanks in the country have been asked to develop mobile applications on their products and services as a way to create the best customer experience.

According to him, the massive increase in the use of smartphones in the country has created immense opportunity for the banks and other financial service providers in the country to leverage.

The Innovations Manager of MTN Ghana, Mr Abdul-Latif Issahaku, gave the advice at the launch of a competition to promote Information and Communications Technology programmes to develop mobile applications (Mobile Apps) to suit Ghanaian conditions.

He said MTN had a platform on which the banks could take advantage and would also create the opportunity for the young ones with innovative minds to develop a source of livelihood.

Mobile Apps are softwares developed to work on smartphones and tablets, for use by individuals or organisations to improve their delivery and lifestyles. It is also to help organisations and the corporate world to service their customers better while surviving growing competition.

For instance, a Mobile App can help users in the country to identify restaurants, give instantaneous weather reports, help productivity in the office, keep and manage time.

The MTN Mobile Applications Challenge, which will run from now till the end of September (six weeks), would enable apps developers resident in Ghana to submit mobile software for use at the MTN Apps Store.

To be eligible to participate in the Apps Challenge, participant shall be resident in Ghana.

A participant may be prohibited or suspended from participating in the Apps Challenge if MTN, in its sole discretion, reasonably believes that such a participant has attempted to undermine the legitimate operation of the Apps Challenge by, inter alia, cheating, deception, or other unfair playing practices, providing false or misleading information or infringing on any intellectual property right of any individual or company anywhere in the world.

Employees of MTN Ghana and/or their immediate family members are encouraged to apply and participate in the Apps Challenge.

Participants are required to submit the app, a short video on how the app functions and a short write-up describing how the app works. Each individual or team is allowed to submit not more than two different apps. It is recommended that one of these apps must run on the Android platform.

A panel of judges will be appointed to test and award marks based on their uniqueness, relevance and user-friendliness to the Ghanaian market. Apps shall have a Ghanaian theme to connect with the potential users.

In the end, the telecom giant and market leader in the industry in the country will reward five successful Mobile Apps and the first winner will receive a cash prize of GH¢10,000 to help them defray their development costs.

The winner will also take home data devices and will be sponsored to attend an all-expense paid telecom conference abroad.

MTN would also make available the Apps on their platform and share the revenue that accrues from usage with the developers.

The General Manager of MTN Business, Mr Eric Nsarko, “the MTN Apps Challenge is a challenge that seeks to generate relevant local applications for our stakeholders.”

He added that the challenge would create another opportunity for MTN to engage local developers to provide unique, relevant and user-friendly apps that will be relevant for local users in Africa and Ghana.

The Ghana apps challenge is the local version of what the MTN Group launched to solicit quality apps for android mobile applications from Africa.

He said although there was smartphone penetration in the country with apps, some of the software did not meet local taste and preferences, thus creating an opportunity for MTN to close the gap.

While Ghana’s mobile subscription is at its peak level, data usage (Internet penetration) is still at its growth level, thus creating demand for apps.

The challenge is, therefore, expected to promote “growth of innovative applications with local themes that suit the Ghanaian market.”

It is against this background among many that the banks, as indicated earlier, could leverage to enable their customers know more about their products and services.GB

By Charles Benoni Okine / Graphic Business / Ghana

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