Redefining Universal Banking, the ADB story

Dr. John Kofi Mensah, ADB MD

One stack reality about the banking industry in Ghana is the constant transformation to improve on service delivery. The banking sector has witnessed several reforms and regulations over the years, resulting in an evolution from sector based banking through to the concept of universal banking. Undoubtedly, this evolution has made the Banking sector more secured and highly competitive. The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has been one of the greatest beneficiaries of the concept of universal banking in Ghana, going beyond agricultural financing to more value laden banking services.

Since obtaining Universal Banking License in 2004, the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) Limited has taken giant steps in providing comprehensive and end to end service delivery aimed at satisfying the banking needs of every single market segment. We open our branches from 8:00am to 5:00pm each day, with all our over 81 locations opening on Saturdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm as well with selected branches offering Sunday Banking services.

In an interview on the products and service offering of ADB, the Head of Marketing and Communications, Mr. Solomon Adu Atefoe stated that aside focusing our core mandate of providing financial support to the agricultural sector, an Executive Banking Service has been re-introduced to the bouquet of the Bank’s already existing products and services. Adding that, the service is tailored to provide its high net worth discerning customers with fast, superior and convenient personalized solutions designed to satisfy their financial needs. Our executive banking services are classified into Executive Gold and Platinum, with loads of varied and personalized benefits. You can locate our special executive branches at Head Office, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale.

The Bank has also introduced a specialized Point of Sale (POS) service for merchants, supermarkets, hotels among others to conveniently accept all Visa and mobile money payments to encourage cashless transactions and reduce the risk of cash transactions. Merchants can also receive online visa payments using our visa web acquiring and transact securely via our verified by visa VbyV.

Mr. Atefoe indicated that the bank has also launched its visa prepaid card especially for potential customers with no bank accounts to just walk in and pick one as gift cards, school fee card, traveling cards which can also be used to make all online purchases.

Another innovative product that the bank has introduced into the market is the “home-link” account which can be jointly used by customers living outside the country as well as their local representatives, Mr Atefoe said. “The account conveniently helps the account holder to be able to monitor transactions in and out using of the account using our electronic platforms as opposed to the former practice where local representatives had total control of the account without the knowledge of the substantive account holder.”

This is a move to help address the long standing problem where people living abroad can now open accounts here with the hope of embarking on projects in Ghana and are subsequently duped by family members and friends who have access to the accounts.

Mr. Atefoe disclosed that the Bank had a wide range of electronic banking services which included seeks to offer customers banking services beyond the working hours. The Mobile Banking service (either USSD *767# or mobile app), QuicCash, Visa Card (Debit, Prepaid or Credit), QuicAlert services, QuicNet internet banking, among others and customers had the liberty to pick and choose the product and service peculiar to their needs without being charged for all E-Banking products and services.

Another service that conveniently serves the needs of customers with smartphones is the ADB Mobile Banking app. Mr. Atefoe explained that, once the customer downloads the app from their phone stores and gets activated at any of our 81 networked branches with their preferred usernames, the customer can easily check the status of all account and Loans with the bank.

The customer can also transfer to all accounts in Ghana instantly and to all mobile wallets, top up airtime, pay for all utilities like ECG, Surfline, Dstv, Gotv, Busy, Vodafone Broad band among others from their smartphones, anywhere anytime, he added. He said most overseas customers can conveniently use the mobile banking app to perform and monitor transactions as though they are resident in Ghana.

“Our customers without smartphones have not been left out, they can use our *767# which gives absolute convenience to them as they can transfer funds directly from their accounts, check balances, link multiple accounts, purchase airtime from all networks for themselves and others with bonus airtime, pay utility bills like Dstv, Transfer MTN Mobile Money, Vodafone Cash and Tigo Cash, access forex rates among others on their phones. This presents absolute financial control and comfort, cuts the hassle and cost of commuting to the banking hall for GHS1 per month,”.

On partnerships, Mr. Atefoe said the Bank has partnered MoneyGram to introduce a new service which ensures all money remittances from abroad are credited directly to the customer’s bank account in Ghana instantly. This, he added, gives great convenience to customers, saving them commuting time and paperwork.

“The service dubbed “MoneyGram Direct” or MoneyGram to Account allows customers to receive remittances directly into their bank accounts in Ghana. Customers can further access funds via all ATMs or can easily use ADB’s mobile app to transfer funds received to any mobile wallet/bank account instantly in Ghana.

Other products offerings by the Bank as part of overall objective of enhancing convenience to our customers include: QuicCash (EMV Cards); proprietary cards to access cash in all ATMs in Ghana and also shop domestically, QuicNet; internet banking for both consumer and corporate customers to access funds, statements and issue transfers, Visa Classic Debit Cards, Visa Classic Prepaid Cards & Visa Platinum Credit Cards; EMV secured visa cards to access all Visa ATMs and POS worldwide, which is also equipped with Verified by Visa (VbV) allowing customers to pay fees and make payments online securely, QuicStatements; to receive account statements in emails for free daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly,  QuicPay; convenient collections platform for school fees collections, electronic vouchers, ECG payments, Dstv Payments, Biometric Passport, WAEC Payments, NLA transactions, MTN Mobile Money and Tigo Cash Transactions thus offering you a one stop shop for all your payments, QuicAlert; to receive SMS notification on all transactions on your account for total control among others.

Mr. Atefoe also stated that ADB has expanded its trade business by setting up three more trade desks in Kumasi and Takoradi to support importers and exporters within these areas.

He maintained that ADB will continue to develop innovative products which will ensure that customers experience optimum convenience and continue to receive value-added service in order to attract and retain more customers.