Indigenous banks urged to leverage technology to reduce unbanked population – UMB CEO

Local banks are urged to leverage technology to reduce the number of unbanked Ghanaians in the system. According to Universal Merchant Bank CEO Nana Dwemoh Benneh, now is the time to tackle this long-standing problem in the financial industry.

According to the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), only 58% of Ghana’s adult population had access to formal financial services in 2015.

Meanwhile, the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion and Development, a document developed by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with financial sector regulators and other key stakeholders, indicates that in 2017, only 1,491 bank branches were in Ghana, in other words, there were 8.6. banks per 100,000 adults during this period, while there were approximately 11.5 automated teller machines (ATMs) per 100,000 adults.

Ultimately, the strategy aims to increase financial inclusion from 58% of Ghana’s adult population to 85% by 2023.

In an interview with Citi News on the outlook for the Ghanaian banking sector, Universal Merchant Bank CEO Nana Dwemoh Benneh noted that now is the time for local banks to leverage technology to reach the unbanked population. while taking advantage of emerging opportunities on the continent.

“I think we have a unique opportunity at this particular time to leverage the transformative developments that are happening within the system. We’ve been talking about the unbanked for a very long time, and I think with what Fintech is doing and what is happening with technology in general, we can start to tackle this problem in a very meaningful way.

“The AFCFTA exists. They have also launched a pan-African payment system that offers unique opportunities for links between different countries. The novelties associated with evolving developments provide unique opportunities, and that is why we are optimistic that even as an indigenous bank, we can extend our tentacles to other geographies,” he added.