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Ghana: Fintech, banks collaboration key for deepening financial inclusion

Director of Telecel Cash and Digital Transformation, Philip Amoateng, emphasizes the importance of collaborative competition between FinTech firms and banks as the optimal strategy for advancing financial inclusion in Ghana.

In contrast to traditional business rivalries, Mr. Amoateng advocates for leveraging the established trust in banks alongside the emerging convenience and innovation of FinTech platforms. This synergistic approach aims to significantly expand the financial services sector and reach previously underserved segments of the population.

Speaking in a plenary discussion at the Ministry of Finance’s Ghana Financial Inclusion Conference on the subject “FinTech, Digital Services and Mobile Money: Competition or Collaboration,” Mr. Amoateng said, “Real financial inclusion requires us to break out of our silos and work together to expand financial services to millions who are currently excluded from the traditional finance system.”

Mr. Amoateng’s remarks come at a time when technological progress and innovation have catapulted the fintech sector from the fringes to the forefront of financial services. FinTech investments are growing exponentially across the continent with a projected US$230 billion in revenues by 2025, according to McKinsey.

Commending the Bank of Ghana for its policy and regulatory support of FinTech integration in the finance sector, Mr. Amoateng believes the real test as at now is to push innovation beyond FinTech platforms and serve marginalised people in remote areas through community collaboration and co-sharing.

“Telcos are doing more for financial inclusion with about 19 million Ghanaians having mobile money wallets as compared to people with bank accounts which are significantly less. Imagine the impact if FinTech and banks joined forces to expand networks in rural areas. We could create a financial lifeline for millions of unbanked people who are not in the financial system,” Mr. Amoateng said. “Collaborative mechanisms are needed to help achieve this.”

Other panelists made unified submissions advocating for the safeguarding of ethics and trust in finance, expanding digital literacy among the populace, fostering innovative disruption, and promoting cooperative collaboration between FinTech firms and banks within the financial sector.

Mr. Amoateng emphasized the prioritization of collaboration over competition, noting that while competition has propelled the FinTech sector, exploring cross-collaborations offers greater benefits. He highlighted that through interoperability, the industry can collectively build a more inclusive financial landscape.

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