Vodafone digitalization to redefine provision of financial services to the unbanked

Telecommunications giant Vodafone Ghana has begun a robust drive to rope Microfinance Institutions into its digital revolution agenda.

The endeavour comes as Ghana’s mobile phone penetration hits 92% against a back drop of a serious inadequate financial inclusion across the country.

Vodafone Ghana on Wednesday held a crucial engagement with the Micro Credit Association of Ghana on the topic of including digital financing in their operations.

The head of Enterprise Products & Marketing @ Vodafone Edward Aikins delivered a detailed lecture on Digital finance, the future of brick and mortar institutions in the era of technology and the smart ways to survive in the digitalized world

He outlined that Vodafone through its Voda Cash services was ready to help the financial institutions gather and manage their data, solicit demands for financial services, transfer and receive cash on a more efficient and less costly platform.

The financial institutions were astonished with the new dimensions of financial inclusion which makes banking a lifestyle and not just a line of transactions and the shift from physical banks to virtual banking services.

Speaking to Ultimate News’ Ivan Heathcote – Fumador, the head of Enterprise Products & Marketing @ Vodafone Edward Aikins indicated that financial institutions stand to lose considerably if they fail to take advantage of digital platforms to extend their reach.

“According to an Accenture Financial Consultancy research, institutions that don’t upgrade themselves to become digitally relevant in the next ten to fifteen years will be losing 32% of their value annually and this is proven research,” he pointed out.

Mr Aikins stated succinctly, “People will not be staying with you because you are in the old block and brick system of doing things and you can’t provide what they want from you,”

The Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN), the mother body of all four tiers of micro financial services was fully represented at the Splendour Hotel in Kumasi where the event was held.

Its Executive Director Yaw Gyamfi admitted that microfinance institutions would fizzle out of the market if they fail to leverage on digital technologies to deliver better services.

“When you look at the mobile technology coverage, it is very high in Ghana and I have not seen any other country in West Africa with that kind of coverage. The amount of financial transactions on mobile money services has far outstripped what most banks are doing and I think we should leverage the advantages that come with it or we will be out of the market,’ he said.

Mr Yaw Gyamfi also assured GHAMFIN will assist its members with all the information they would require to take full advantage of the services Vodafone provides to expand their financial services and engender better financial inclusion.

Vodafone also used the event to allay fears of the microfinance institutions that they were out to compete and take a chunk of their customers if the collaboration with the MFIs and their ancillary institutions is cemented.

By: Ghana/Ultimatefmonline.com/106.9FM/Ivan Heathcote-Fumador & Mina Ali