The Bank of Ghana, BoG, is urging Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) to leverage current technologies to meet the fast-changing needs of their customers.
This, the BoG believes will help the RCBs remain relevant to the segment of the economy that is traditionally served by the sector.
Speaking at the 21st annual Chief Executive Officers Conference for Rural and Community Banks in Ho, in the Volta Region, Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Elsie Addo-Awadzi, advised rural and community banks to also regularly review their models to meet the changing trends.
“Digital financial services are now the future, and are creating opportunities to reach existing customers and the previously unbanked in cost-effective ways. This also means that universal banks are now able to reach communities and people with their services much easier and cheaper than they previously could, and thereby competing with the RCB sector on your own turf.
At this rate, any financial institution that has not already adopted and implemented a digital transformation strategy is already behind the curve. The RCB sector therefore cannot afford to wait much longer before it begins to leverage emerging technologies to modernise their business models to meet the fast-changing needs of their customers,” she said.
She also highlighted the need for banks to invest in mechanisms to protect their systems from potential cyber-attacks.
Digitalisation comes along with its own complexities and risks, including cyber security risks, third and fourth party/outsourcing risk, data privacy breaches, technology failure risk, increased AML/CFT risks, and consumer protection risk among others.
“ lot is required by way of strong governance and risk management systems to help mitigate these risks, as financial institutions seek to exploit the benefits of digitalisation.
RCBs will therefore need to augment their capital base as needed in order to deploy more sophisticated systems and structures in line with the Bank of Ghana’s 2018 Cyber and Information Security Directive. The Directive provides for the adoption of minimum technical, governance, data protection protocols, and transaction monitoring and fraud detection and mitigation tools, to help mitigate key risks from digitisation.