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Strategy for financial inclusion unit of Ghanaian bank

Our purpose was to assist a leading Ghanaian bank's Financial Inclusion Unit (FIU) to deliver on its overarching goal of having five million active accounts by 2018, and to identify ‘capability’ gaps that could potentially be supported by FSD Africa. The analysis involved a market opportunity analysis and internal capability assessment.

While it was clear that the goal was a stretch target, the analysis gave the initiative a green/amber light because, technically, the opportunity did exist and the bank had the three key advantages: it was the first mover in the mass market, it was given special dispensation by the central bank to run an agent network (the only bank in the market) and mobile-money solutions had not yet taken off.

Capability wise, however, the analysis highlighted numerous concerns. The operating model was not scalable (i.e. too many manual processes) and, structurally, the division was set up as a special project with duplicated main-bank functions (such as operations and IT) which substantially increased costs. Furthermore, a poor decision had been made about its IT platforms, i.e. a separate core-banking system had been built, which meant that customers from this segment could not interact with the main bank and vice versa.

The project concluded with the creation of a new organisational structure of a retail banking value chain continuum that eliminated the initial silo nature of the organisation.

The business case investigation revealed key issues in terms of sales performances, card functionality and pricing. Together with overall process and systems problems, these formed the foundation for a list of key activities that would need to be undertaken for the unit to improve performance and achieve its goals. These key initiatives were then workshopped with key stakeholders in order to gain consensus and rank them in terms of priority. The bank decided to implement all of our recommendations.

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