By Adabunu Bright (MBA), Guest Columnist
In today’s increasingly competitive environment we cannot distance ourselves from the realities of the emerging markets that bring the wheel of change to even the lions of the industry with creative responses to withstand the exigencies of the day.
While options are being considered, many advocate for a win-win solution. Indeed, Philip kotler has always emphasized that excellent companies know how to adapt and respond to a continuously changing marketplace. In the mobile money market, if the lions knew yesterday, what they know today, things would have been different and surely today would have been most fulfilling in their existence.
In an “evening with” Abiola Bawuah, a respected MD of UBA, organized by CIMG recently, she also attested to the need to appreciate the changes and the tendencies of today’s market in order to minimize the threats in the banking sector.
Strategically, most market leaders in an industry, all things being equal, will always try to lead the other firms in price changes, new product introductions, distribution coverage and creative communication in order to expand the market demand, protect the market share or expand the market share.
Ironically, according to Arvind Sankararan, we are witnessing the creative destruction of the financial services and the one who wins should rearrange itself around the consumer, do the most relevant in an exciting way using the data and digital. David Brear reinforces the argument by pointing to technological innovation as the heart and blood of banking for many years to come amid the Fintech and large technology companies.
Once a lion, you should be marked out with unmistakable presence of nobility, offer leadership, impressed by the strength in others and protection in exchange of loyalty and hard work, have no time for subtlety, forge alliances and embrace new roles confidently because that is the only way the king of the industry can be recognized.
On the other hand, the market to large extent is concerned with solution; reducing cost, convenience and most importantly being communicated to. In all sincerity, at the base of customers wants is their ease, accessibility and speed of delivery. The founding fathers of Fintech in their quest to meeting these needs added a pinch of innovation and a touch of technology that is
changing the phase of banking. Indeed, Bill Gate made it known that we need banking and not banks anymore. Truly, banking is a service that the customer experience.
The interesting idea behind mobile money operation dated back in 2002 on a research funded by the department of international development at Gamos based on the findings of the commonwealth telecommunication with piloting and in April 2007, following a student software development on a project in Kenya when a mobile phone based payment and money transfer service was launched known as M-Pesa.
In Ghana it was launched in 2009 by MTN CEO Brett Goschen in partnership with nine banks as published by Oluniyi in August. Presently, it has contributed a total of 679.17 million Ghana cedis and a growth of 20% as compared to 547. 96 million Ghana cedis in 2015 as published by Emmanuel Quist.
This development gives credence to Bill Gate assertion that Digital technology provides a low cost way for people to send money to each other, borrow and save as long as the financial regulations environment is supportive. He also stressed the fact that when somebody has a mobile phone in Africa, you can see the whole transaction history.
This in his opinion is preferable to an economy with untraceable bill. This is a net win for stakeholders and demonstrates the direction to which investors will channel their resources in
the ensuing years. This provides opportunity for the lions of the banking jungle to close all the important gaps that is doing the magic for the Telecos.
According to Zeithmal, Bitner and Gremler (2006), gaps that may appear include not knowing what customers expect, not selecting the right service design and standards not delivering to service design and standards, and not matching the performance to promises while having an eye on the uncontrollable.
Sam Black, an honorary professor of public relations, university of Stirling revealed that in most cases, it is not science which is a problem for students but the language of science that is difficult.
The Fintechs and telecos have demystified banking and makes banks just a tangible object while concentrating on the service. According to Anthony Ayemang, the market is not a homogenous whole but rather a congeries of segments with unique needs.
The market today is well informed, empowered, feel for what they are entitled to, need simplicity and above all very curious and with media orientation.
A study that has exposed some interesting ideas and potential for academic and practical contribution in this regard as supervised by Mr. Kwabena Akuamouah Agyekum observed that customers were satisfied with mobile service while assessing their waiting time. According to Brett king, banking has to work when you need it.
To him, the best advice and the best service in financial services happen in real time and it is based on customer behavior, using principles of big data, mobility and gamification.
The way forward as highlighted by the MD of UBA recently is to appreciate the mix of changes: digital change, demographic change, changing world time, stakeholders’ pressure, regulatory change, knowledge gaps, economic issues, employees needs, pressure from global entities among other things in facing the realities of the moment.
Notwithstanding all these developments, the inescapable truth is the Fintech and telecos are making our customers lives a lot brighter and we cannot afford to miss the opportunity of being at the heart of the customer’s world.
While building on the already established partnerships, there is the need the to have strategic vision with commitment for the mobile money market tied around appropriate leadership, retraining of staff, regulatory and techno –ethics, marketing and market research, management information systems, network issues and managing processes to prevent fraud, and above all a self service opportunity for customers.
This is the surest way, we can do more for equality in poor countries than anywhere else as hinted by Bill Gate and I believe the lives of the unbanked market will improve with this differentiated service experience while it eventually becomes a conduit for the lions of the industry in creating a cashless economy.
The author is a Marketing Analyst