Unlike their contemporaries in politics, manufacturing, and other sectors of the economy, players in the financial sectors do not have the luxury of waxing lyrically all the customer-oriented adjectives in their marketing or other communications efforts. Indeed, the last they can ever contemplate is to promise more than they can feasibly and measurably deliver.
Beyond the fact the regulatory regime and ethical demands of the financial sector imposes a moral and legal obligations on these institutions to be factually accurate in their promises and solutions, a fast paced knowledge/information based world, which has left the customer insatiable in their demand for comfort, convenience, safety, speed and precision, has been a key factor in deflating self-touting tendencies of any financial player, desirous of earning the trust and credibility of its customers, either potential or existing.
Besides the above observation, there is, indeed, no denying the fact that, given an overtly competitive financial sector, the only option that players in this arena are left with is the option of providing innovative, creative, efficient and customer-focused financial solutions that addresses the prevailing challenges of individual and corporate bodies. Without doubt, the situation where almost 32 universal banks and other numerous tier 2 and 3 banks are left to compete for the deposits of only 30% banked population has been a key factor, prompting technologically –engineered innovation in a Ghana’s banking sector.
It is these exigencies and given the resounding merits of a cashlite economic order that continue to boost Ghana’s effort at attaining a cashless economic regime, one which is not only driven by the prevailing global financial demands but most importantly a need to meet the financial needs of customers in a safe, secured innovative ways.
Consequently, players in the financial sector have over the years introduced pioneering financial products and services all aimed at reducing the risk associated with a cash-based economic regime.
Of the many financial products in this respect, I have decided to profile Capital bank’s speed pay, in this piece. Without prejudice or disrespect to other products in that category, I am minded to write about SpeedPay as, in my estimation, the product is the most innovative financial solution which promises nothing short of safe and convenient electronically base deposit and purchasing solution. Besides, cognizance of the recent strategic partnership between Capital bank and Allied oil which is expected to widen the distribution channel for the product, I have no doubt that Speed Pay, provides a perfect case for this piece that seeks to stress the importance of strategic partnerships in Ghana’s cashless financial regime.
WHAT IS SPEEDPAY?
Consistent with the company’s new brand tagline of providing value and in keeping with its promise of providing innovative, safe and secured financial solutions, as part of its rebranding, Capital bank introduced Speed pay to consolidate the giant gains the company continue to make in electronic banking regime. Previously called Speed banking, Speed pay was developed in 2011 to facilitate cash deposit in Ghana, playing a pioneering role as the first product to bring branchless electronic cash deposit banking solutions in Ghana.
With speed pay, customers can deposit cash and make payments through the internet or mobile phones, sparing them the stress and difficulty associated with brick and mortar banking. Beyond this, Speed pay affords customers an opportunity to pay bills, purchase tickets for events and shop online currently on the following platforms – M-Power, Knoxxi, Slydepay and Omanye shop and conduct many other financial transactions with ease and convenience.
To make the product easily accessible and widen the reach of the product on the market, Capital bank, at a press event on August 23, 2016, signed a strategic partnership agreement with Allied oil. By this partnership, the Speed pay product will be available in all Allied oil branches across the country, bringing to 51, the distribution channels of the product.
Speaking at the short but colourful event, the Head of Retail banking at Capital bank reiterated the company’s resolve to providing innovative solutions that excites their customers. On his part, M.D of Capital bank, Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, reaffirmed his company’s commitment to rolling out innovative products and financial solutions that respond to the real needs and provide real-time value to their customers.
Drawing similarities between Capital bank and Allied oil, the Managing Director of Allied oil acknowledged the shared values of innovation, creativity, and unalloyed orientation to customer satisfaction as the underpinning factors for their partnership with Capital bank.
As the world’s banking regime skews in favour of a cashless economic regime, players in this sector are left with no other option than to not only provide innovative product solutions but most importantly, widen the reach and access to these products. It is to this end that strategic partnerships between and among companies with shared philosophies, values systems and clientele base becomes pronounced.
In a competitive business world, the last disservice any company will do to itself is to remain isolated. I am aware that in the insurance landscape, the concept of Bancassurance, has allowed for insurance companies to expand and extend their product and services to customers of their partner banks. Indeed, strategic partnership is the new norm and companies in any sector, however their size and clout, cannot afford to underestimate same. In fact; many business gurus and writers lend credence to the need for strategic partnerships. In their book, ‘Why we want you to be rich,’ Robert Kawasaki and Donald Trump, termed it as leverage. In his inimitable book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the power of partnerships, Andrew M. Davis made profound and instructive case on the need for companies to enter into strategic partnerships.
As Capital bank leaps into partnership with a key upstream player, Allied oil, I can only wish both companies all the best, aware of the fact that a successful partnership will not only boost the balance sheets of both companies but most importantly, same will enhance Ghana’s efforts at becoming a force in a cashless global economic regime.
Samuel Osarfo Boateng,
(Freelance Writer, Researcher and Communication Strategist)