Mr Kojo Mattah, the Managing Director of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) Apex Bank, has reminded all banks that the Ghana Inter-bank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) expects all customers to be issued with Gh-Link cards by the end of 2019.

“This is no longer a choice and all RCBs are also obliged to be on board without any further delay.”

Mr Mattah said this at the opening of the 18th National Managers’ Conference of the RCBs and the ARB Apex Bank in Sunyani, on the theme: “Sustaining Rural and Community Banking through Digitalisation”.

The three-day conference was attended by 250 participants, including the chief executive officers (CEOs) and managers of all the 144 RCBs in the country.

He said immediate digitalisation is inevitable to making rural and community banks (RCBs) more robust for survival within the changing dynamics and trends in the banking industry.

Mr Kojo Mattah, the Managing Director of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) Apex Bank, said the RCBs would collapse if boards and management did not take steps to move to digitalised operations and banking services.

Alongside the conference, 80 selected drivers within the sector were taken through a refresher course to update their knowledge and skills for more efficient driving services for maximum productivity and profit.

Mr Mattah expressed optimism that RCBs were a unified body that remained undoubtedly the largest bank network in the country with the biggest retail customer base.

“This is a major strength that the other banks can only envy,” he said.

“This is the time to begin seeing ourselves as one united army fighting for a common cause, which is to win in the ever increasingly competitive banking space with technological changes taking place at the speed of light”.

“We cannot be left behind the digital banking and cash-light agenda, if we had prepared and organised very well, we would have been the champions and leaders in the MoMo revolution in the country”

“We have the potential and the more we prepare, the better we shall be able to capture the opportunities that all the changes taking place would throw at the RCB industry”.

On Agency Banking, Mr Mattah announced that the project was progressing steadily, envisaged to rope in more than 5,000 banking agents across the country when launched.

Updating the conference on the “Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) Uptake”, he indicated that 35 RCBs had procured and installed a total of 80 ATMs countrywide, while 55 were also issuing cards, implying that a RCB did not necessarily have to install ATM to be able to issue cards to customers.

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