KPMG, Knowledge Partners for the 6th Connected Banking Summit- West Africa
On 15 and 16 November, KPMG were knowledge Partners for the 6th Connected Banking Summit- West Africa (formerly Africa Digital Banking Summit - Innovation and Excellence Awards) organised by the International Center for Strategic Alliances (ICSA) themed “Accelerating Financial Inclusion through Digital Adoption”.
The aim of the conference was to focus on developing solutions to critical issues faced by Banks and FinTechs in West Africa and discuss practical and cost-effective solutions to developing digital banking solutions.
On day one, Philip Twum, was on a panel alongside Abdoul Aziz Faye (Group CIO, Ecobank), Ophelia Ama Oni (Digital Financial Services Expert, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)) and Dami Adebari, (Manager Emerging Markets Africa, HID Global) where they spoke on ‘Driving digital access to bolster the future of financial inclusion’. This Deep Dive CXO panel deliberated on a number of topics, such as how Banks and FinTechs can come together to create digital inclusion, what organisations can do to achieve digital inclusion and financial inclusion and the way forward for Ghana amongst other topics.
During this plenary, Philip shared that there is a need for regulators to encourage innovation and that innovation is in fact a key element for creating a robust financial environment. He added that there are certain great innovators that we will never have the opportunity to see because they are not financially supported and that it is necessary for an enabling environment to be created for these innovators to be properly funded. When asked about banks and data sharing, he said leveraging data amongst different parties is beneficial, however there are risks as ‘You are only as strong as your weakest link’ so there would need to be constant reminders for individuals to understand the importance of cyber security and being cyber safe.
Philip concluded by stating that digital financial services would need to be fiercely competitive in the future as a high level of competitiveness will drive down costs, create more options for users/customers and ultimately lead to affordable financial services.
Andy Akoto presented later that day on “A glimpse into financial inclusion: The State at play”. He explained that financial inclusion describes a state where individuals and businesses can access appropriate, affordable, and timely financial products and services. He added that Financial Inclusion spans a complete spectrum of Digital Financial Service needs – not just day-to-day banking, but to include micro insurance, savings, credit, pensions, access to loans, payment facilities, remittances, money transfer etc and shared his personal experiences when he started to use mobile money. Andy went on to share that financial literacy is an important tool for financial inclusion as an individual requires a basic understanding of their finances in order to optimally reap the benefits of financial inclusion.
Other key panellists and speakers that day included Kwame Oppong (Head of Fintech, Bank of Ghana), Gillian Hammah (Group Chief Marketing Officer, Databank), Nitesh Singh (Managing Director for communication, Media & Technology Lead Africa), Bossman Akuffo Kwapong (Country Manager, Mastercard Ghana), Dr. Philip Oti–Mensah (Executive Director, OmniBSIC Bank Ghana) and Kofi Adomako (Managing Director, Ghana Commercial Bank Plc) amongst others from reputable institutions.
It was a two day conference which ended with an awards ceremony for banks leading in different areas such as retail banking, wealth management, digital banking and more.