Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) have been urged to take advantage of the emerging digital banking system to roll out tailor-made digital products and services for their clients.
This must come with appropriate risk management structures to improve operational efficiency, deepen financial inclusion and increase customer satisfaction.
Mr Yaw Sapong, Head of Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department of the Bank of Ghana (BOG), who made the call said this was the way for RCBs to help create opportunities and sustain rural economic activities.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at Ejisu, he said the BOG had created a Financial Technology and Innovation Office, as well as a regulatory sandbox, which allowed industry participants to test their digital products and services in a controlled environment.
The National Payment Systems Strategic Plan (NPSP) also establishes the policy direction and guidelines that would foster an enabling environment for the development of the country’s payment and financial systems.
Mr Sapong said Ghana was among the leading African Countries to begin piloting the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the Electronic Cedi (E-Cedi) platform.
This, he said, was being tested and trial phases with the banks, payment providers, merchants, customers, and other stakeholders for a nationwide roll-out.
Mr Sapong noted that this would present an opportunity to build a robust, inclusive, competitive, and sustainable financial sector.
He stressed the need for RCBs to collaborate with ARB Apex bank and other stakeholders to leverage on the opportunities available with digitization within the payment ecosystems.
He also appealed to key stakeholders in the RCB industry, to build appropriate synergies for the sector.
The Association of Rural Banks must also hold their members to acceptable ethical and performance standards.
Mr Sapong pledged the BOGs support for the growth of Rural and Community Banking in the country.