Customer interests and shifts in technology have helped brands get closer to their customers and sometimes, fans. For banks, the shift has been more rewarding as they have found several ways to engage their customers, and possibly increase their income.
First, it was those long paper bank statements only, then SMS came, then USSD, bank websites, and now apps. Apps are beginning to be a part of the banking experience in Ghana. Eventually, they could become a checklist item for most Ghanaian consumers, especially the tech-savvy ones. This seems the most plausible thing to do, anyway.
On the other side of the line are USSD services. I’m currently aware some banks offer that, and that usually seems a more geographically friendly solution as not everyone owns a smartphone in Ghana. They’re helpful, mostly for buying call credit, checking balance, and transferring money to the same bank or Mobile Money.
Fighting for the attention of customers are also the non-bank payment services that allow you to add several bank cards and work from there. They usually offer a lot more when it comes to services, and make it easier to perform the same actions except for bank specific services, like statement, even checking balance.
A more pressing competitor to having a bank app on your phone is not even the space you need to listen to music or download a video; it’s Mobile Money(whichever network you’re on). It’s just amazing how it has become a major channel of transferring and managing money. This could already be posing a threat to some of the banks, if it is already not.
While the Ghana Banking Sector Summary for 2016 does not provide any data about mobile or anything tech-related, all the banks know it’s upsides, and sometimes downsides, and are pretty conversant with that. However, a quick search revealed that 14 out of the 30 registered ones have an app, at least on the play store.
With all these innovations however, it seems obvious banks will not stop making the effort to make it easier to reach customers and vice-versa. Hence, the apps might eventually grow in number. So we are eventually getting to the point where every Ghanaian bank will have an app.
Does your bank have an app? Do you use it often, and what do you like most about it? Add your comments below.
Also published on Medium.