The findings of the PwC 2016 Ghana Banking Survey: ‘How to win in an era of mobile money’, has stated. The report was launched in Accra, on Thursday.
The survey sought the perspective of Chief Executive Officers of Banks as to the extent to which mobile money is expected to affect their business and the importance bankers attach to critical success factors in the delivery of mobile money service.
While the bankers surveyed perceived mobile money as an opportunity to be explored, they also viewed it as a potential threat should non-banks be allowed to provide the service in competition with the traditional banking services.
The survey also identified favourable Regulations, Technology and partnerships as critical success factors.
“Rather than being viewed as taking part of a fixed pie, MNOs should be viewed as contributors to an expanding pie,” it says. “With new solutions come new products, services and new revenue channels.”
Bank executives were unanimous in their view that Mobile Money has had some impact on the way the business of banking is conducted.
There were, however, differences in how bank executives perceive the scale of impact that mobile money has had on the business of banking.
More than half of respondents are of the view that mobile money has moderately impacted the way they conduct business, raising questions for banks with regard to whether the impact is going to get stronger or not and how they will respond to it.
“Overall, it became obvious from the discussions that bank executives are feeling the impact of mobile money on their business, either positively or negatively,” the survey states.
Despite the opportunities mobile money presents, a large percentage of respondents viewed it as a threat.
The major threat, according to the banks, emanates from the potential for telcos and other mobile money operators to enter into the banking space.
“To most respondents, mobile money is evolving into ‘banking on your phone,’ it says. “This provides customers with alternatives to traditional banking and customers are taking advantage of these alternatives.”
“Mobile money is significantly threatening the payment solutions offered by banks. Executives believe both bill payment services and point of sale (POS) payment offerings are currently under threat.
“Bank executives believe that should current trends continue; banks will soon command a smaller portion of the payments market compared to mobile money operators”.
Dr Johnson Asiama, a Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana, encouraged the banking industry not to see the mobile money operators as competitors but rather complementary and a vital channel in achieving the financial inclusion agenda.
He said the BoG would continue to dialogue and to fine-tune the regulatory and supervisory framework to ensure that the risks and vulnerabilities in the system were dealt with.
Mr Vish Ashiagbor, the Country Senior Partner, PwC Ghana, said three critical factors – Regulation, Technology and Partnership – were critical.
He said regulation was critical to address and influence the Bank of Ghana towards any future changes to regulation, while technology would continue to be pivotal in the era.
Banks must continually evaluate the long-term benefits of their investment in technology and choose solutions that offer the best returns on investment, he said.
Mr Ashiagbor said banks could no longer operate in isolation but they needed to build partnerships with other banks and with other service providers to expand their reach and deliver services to the customer in a timely manner.