The impact of the current macroeconomic landscape in Nigeria and Ghana has been widespread across individuals and businesses alike. Customer behaviour and decision-making patterns are evolving amidst ongoing threats to financial wellbeing and wealth erosion. In response, customers are recalibrating their priorities, seeking enhanced value in their purchases and banking relationships. Our research highlights diverse value-seeking behaviours across customer segments.

This is KPMG in West Africa’s inaugural combined customer research - the 17th consecutive edition in Nigeria and the fourth in Ghana. Our research explores parallels across both markets such as the acceleration in digital adoption, and distinctive local nuances such as high mobile money penetration in Ghana and the growing role of fintechs in the Nigerian banking landscape, underscoring the uniqueness and intricacies of each market’s landscape.

In Nigeria, the cash crunch that characterised the banking landscape and wider economy triggered significant downtimes and deterioration of banking service levels. At the time, there were concerns about the potential long-term impact on trust in the industry and the implications for financial inclusion. However, our research does not suggest that this concern has not materialised to date. Instead, we observed a significant shift from ATMs to agency banking.

When assessed against the Six Pillars of experience excellence, the industry scores highest on Integrity but continues to struggle on Resolution – proactively addressing customers’ problems.

In Ghana, the nation’s ongoing debt restructuring impacted banks’ profitability and investors’ confidence. The combined factors of inflation and Cedi depreciation in the Ghanaian economy also affected customers’ income and spending patterns. Particularly among retail customers, there is now a heightened demand for integrity from banks as they keep their eyes closely on their finances - how much banks are deducting from their accounts and how quickly failed transactions are reversed - all in a bid to preserve value.

As banks across the region continue to scale, leveraging technology has become a key imperative. The acceleration of Generative AI this past year is an indicator of the potential for banks and other organisations to augment their workforces with the potential of AI. In our report, we explore emerging use cases and offer thoughts on how banks can prepare for mainstream adoption of AI to create value for customers.

Creating value requires addressing essential questions – How thoroughly do I understand the value expectations of my customers? What will characterise my future customer? How can I strategically align to consistently deliver superior and distinctive value experiences to my customers?

Answering these will involve integrating and connecting key capabilities across the organisation including customer insights to provide ongoing understanding of customer behaviours across segments and personas. Operational insights supported by analytics and automation capabilities will also be needed to effectively predict issues and orchestrate seamless end-to-end experience, along with the technology infrastructure that provides agility and flexibility to support scale.

The convergence of these key capabilities will not only position banks to navigate ongoing challenges but also empower them to proactively meet and exceed customer expectations in an ever-evolving financial landscape.

Access the complete survey here in PDF format.

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