Rural and Community Banks, RCBs, have been advised to as a matter of priority pay extra attention to development of the various communities in which they operate.
RCBs have further been urged to increase their CSR budgetary allocations to the communities in which they operate, because CSR projects are the best Public Relations strategies to undertake for customer loyalty.
The Omanhene and President of Kwahu Traditional Council, Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II, gave this advice as chairman of the occasion at the 20th Annual National Managers’ Conference of Rural and Community Banks and ARB Apex Bank Plc, held recently at Kwahu-Nkwatia in the Eastern Region.
According to him, this is important because the communities in which they operate will not remember them for the annual profits they declare or the expansion drives, or the number of awards that are conferred on them.
He however emphasised that these social impact initiatives will leave a mark in the minds of customers, which can translate into positive word of mouth and recommendations that can bring more customers to them.
Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II has further advised the RCBs to desist from copying universal banking strategy, and rather develop products and services specifically targetted at the micro-small- and medium enterprises operating in rural areas.
He has further urged RCBs to move quickly on integrating Financial Technology (Fintech) tools for delivering banking solutions to the rural folk.
He disclosed that recent statistics show there are more than 48 million active mobile phone accounts in the country, and it is believed most of these active mobile phone users are already using mobile money.
It is instructive to note that Telecom and Fintech operators are becoming direct competitors to the banks, though they collaborate in some circumstances. This calls for creativity and speed on the part of banks, which they must be willing to develop and deploy products that will bring ‘double delight’ and comfort to customers.
“If the customers are sure that they can enjoy improved traditional products as well as technology-enhanced services from the RCBs, they will remain loyal to them,” he stressed.