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Business News of Friday, 31 July 2020

Source: Business 24

Banks must adopt humanised approach to digital banking - Alkan CEO

Mrs. Alberta Quarcoopome sees a mix of human and tech-based customer service delivery to be crucial Mrs. Alberta Quarcoopome sees a mix of human and tech-based customer service delivery to be crucial


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Banks will have to combine both digital and brick and mortar customer support efforts in their quest to enhance and sustain customer experience in a digital banking era, banking consultant and Chief Executive Officer of Alkan Business Consult, Alberta Quarcoopome, has said.

“What customers or clients need now is a digital experience which is humanised and not just machines; artificial intelligence (AI) has come to complement the efforts of human intelligence and not to replace it,” she said in a virtual training seminar organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers Ghana (CIB).

Though digital banking has greatly enhanced the ease of doing business in the financial sector and has brought convenience to customers, Mrs. Quarcoopome said it must not be the sole focus at the expense of human expertise.

“Digital banking services—which are aided by RPA and AI—have improved banks’ monitoring processes, their ability to respond to fraud in real-time, and also enforced efficient operations,” she said.

According to her, digital products like UBA’s Leo and similar others are ways that banks are seeking to make their digital products more humanised since the “human factor” cannot be completely taken out of their operations.

Promotion of digital products has become more crucial in this COVID-19 pandemic era where customers seek more technologically-oriented banking solutions that will put them in control. In response to this, banks that had already invested heavily in technology but for which there was limited uptake, have seen a surge in the use of such technology. Others have also committed significant funds, within the past four months, to enhance their digital offerings.

It has been predicted that post-pandemic, banks will digitise more transactions and services as consumers become more digital-savvy, and will also enhance the simplicity and convenience of those service.

For instance, First National Bank, a subsidiary of South Africa’s FirstRand Group, recorded transaction growth through digital channels of more than 90 percent in both March and April, whilst Cal Bank, one of the fastest-growing indigenous banks in the last decade, has seen a 25 percent rise in users of its mobile banking platform since the year began.

The two-day virtual training programme was on the theme: “Banking operations in a digitised environment” with participants comprising bank tellers, customer and frontline staff, call and back-office staff and relationship officers.

Mr. Patrick Baah Abankwa, Head of Training and Business Development Manager for the Institute, said the course was designed to, among others, equip participants with an integrated understanding of digital banking to help them offer cutting-edge performance in a digitised banking environment.

“This course was to enhance participants’ knowledge of new skills required in using digitisation to better manage customer complaints, service recovery and maintain loyalty.

“It was also to guide them to make practical resolutions that will impact positively on their banking roles to enhance the reputation and profitability of their respective banks,” he indicated.

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