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Business News of Monday, 6 April 2015


Africa must move towards a cashless society – Sanusi

The Managing Director of the Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank), Mr Olelakan Sanusi, has stressed the need for Africa to move fast towards a cashless society to be able to catch up with the rest of the world.

“Internationally it has been done and it is working for them and so why can’t we also do same to benefit from its merits?” he asked.

Mr Sanusi made the call when he paid a courtesy call on the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, in Accra on Holy Thursday.

In many parts of Africa, people are not used to the use of cards for transactions and, therefore, in spite of the introduction of cards, its usage is on a low side.

Governments have also not found greater value in the use of cards in place of cash in transactions and have, therefore, not put any regulations in place to be able to encourage that.

In places such as Kenya, the Mpesa, a mobile money system, is making major inroads, but the same cannot be said of a majority of countries, Ghana being no exception.

“As a bank, we have led the way to introduce cashless cards such as the Visa Card, Mastercard and others and we expect that more people will embrace it to enable them to do more things with it, instead of carrying cash around,” he said.

In the area of innovation, Mr Sanusi said GT Bank had been able to study the market to know what customers really wanted to make banking easier for them.

“This started way back in Nigeria when we changed the cage concept and also designed branches in a manner that made them attractive and more friendly for customers to come in to do business,” he said.

He said the bank had also introduced innovative products for students at the universities to enable them to make payments faster and easier.

He said African companies must be able to share ideas among themselves and learn from one another.

Mr Sanusi said the over reliance on foreign investors was not the solution to the challenges confronting the continent and urged greater collaboration.

He used the example of Dangote and noted that if there were such financial icons on the continent, there was need to tap into their knowledge and share what they had with the rest to be able to achieve the needed goals.

Mr Ashigbey used the occasion to express the willingness of the GCGL to work with the GT Bank in areas that would bring laurels to both companies and the country at large.

He introduced the brands of the GCGL to Mr Sanusi and noted that the papers would be willing to partner the bank to propagate the GT Bank’s products and services to help develop the economy.

Mr Ashigbey said the company was venturing into areas where business would be more sustainable and noted that the GCGL was open for negotiations.