Business News of Wednesday, 2 August 2017
A new wave of digitization of financial services is afoot in Ghana, and Zenith Bank, named three consecutive times as “The Bank That Best Promotes Cashless Transactions” in Ghana, is in the vanguard of the trend. On one count, the search for greater convenience, scale and lower cost in providing financial services to traditional clientele is spurring digitisation.
A second driving factor is recognition by regulators and players that new, dynamic channels are required to bring formal financial services to the doorsteps of the many in the population who are excluded or underserved.
The mobile phone is the new bank branch
Perhaps the most popular and transformational instrument of digitization in Ghana’s financial sector today is the mobile phone, which is powering mobile banking and mobile money services. Mobile banking is currently on the rise in Ghana.
With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, the bank has relaunched Z-Mobile, a smartphone-based mobile banking application. Indeed, Zenith Bank is among the first in the Ghanaian banking industry to launch an app-based mobile banking service (available on Play Store on android or App Store on iPhone).
Z-Mobile, which is simple to use and very secure, enables customers access their accounts and conveniently carry out banking transactions from any part of the world via smartphones and tablets. The app’s notable features include allowing customers to check balances on their accounts, view transaction history, top up investments (within Zenith and other investment houses like Databank), set up beneficiaries, effect instant intrabank (Zenith-to-Zenith) and interbank (Zenith-to-other banks) transfers via the Gh-IPSS Instant Pay (GIP) service and pay bills, on the go.
e-banking on a quieter but steady uptrend
In e-banking, as in other areas, Zenith Bank’s innovations have heralded new milestones not only for the bank but the whole industry as well. For instance, Zenith GlobalPAY, a secured web-based collection gateway that enables merchants to accept card payments in real time online from customers worldwide, is a first-rate e-banking product and service supporting merchants to set up shop on the internet and sell to global customers. With a one-time integration, merchants (businesses) on GlobalPAY can receive payments from a wide variety of locally issued cards like Gh-link cards as well as internationally-issued cards.
Digitization is facilitating financial inclusion
Besides enabling the traditionally banked to transact financial services with greater ease, digitization is also promoting financial inclusion. Digital channels afford the unbanked an opportunity to leapfrog barriers to brick-and-mortar banking—such as cost and infrastructure—that historically have excluded them from the financial system.
Zenith Bank believes the momentum that digital finance has gained in Ghana will remain strong for years to come, driven by government and regulatory initiatives, innovation by service providers, increasing financial literacy, and an improving economy.
Being adjudged “The Bank That Best Promotes Cashless Transactions in Ghana” at the 16th Ghana Banking Awards, which is the third consecutive success, underscores the Bank’s leadership in digital finance in the Ghanaian banking industry.