Ecobank launches ‘care and convenience’ to celebrate customers

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Ecobank Ghana as part of plans to appreciate business partners and customers has launched a new product dubbed ‘care and convenient.’

According to the bank, the current banking trend demands that commercial banks listen to the request of customers in order to promote good relations.

The Ecobank ‘care and convenient’ program is centered towards meeting the needs of the customers within the shortest possible time through innovative means.

Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank West Africa, Dan Sackey said, “What we believe is that if you want to make a payment in the shop, you should be able to do that quickly and leave and we need our system to be up and running in order to achieve that.”

The launch of the program according to him ” is the commitment that people are ready to serve and respond to needs of customers so that they get what they ask for in a convenient way”

Ecobank with this new product is also assuring clients that it is undergoing system upgrade on a daily basis as part of measures to ensure that the best services are provided to its customers.

The launch of the program on Monday brought together some loyal customers of the bank to share their customer service experience.

Ecobank Ghana was ushered into the Hall of Fame at the 2018 Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana Marketing awards in Accra.

According to the Chief Executive, the introduction of innovative products and services have added to the many initiatives it promises to its customers across the nation.
 

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Ecobank hints at increasing support for educational projects

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The Acting Managing Director of Ecobank has just said the bank will continue to support educational projects in the country because it is the right thing to do.

Edward Botchwey told Joy News Ecobank has invested ¢1.8 million on various educational activities and is likely to increase their budgetary support for non-formal education and other education-related projects.

“We are looking at various projects and partnerships and I think that by the end of the year we most probably going to spend more than we did last year.

“For us, it is not just about the figures or the amount we spend but being able to make an impact,” he said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2018 celebrations to mark the International Literacy Day, on Saturday he spoke about the bank’s support for Non-Formal Education.

Mr Botchwey said it is not good enough for Ecobank as an entity and the country to have illiterates.

He explained that is part of the reasons why for their corporate social responsibility they have contributed to the enhancement of quality education to all irrespective of financial or social standing.

“Helping get everyone to read and write is not only good for business but it is the right thing to do. The idea for us is to churn out products that our customers are able to use whether they can read or not,” he said.

According to him, Ecobank believes supporting the non-formal education and education, in general, is a national call that all companies must contribute to.

“While acknowledging the importance of formal education to national development, Ecobank acknowledges the importance of non-formal education. A type of education, which was with us even before the introduction of formal education.

“Non-formal education provides adaptable learning opportunities and new skills development and knowledge to a large percentage of people, some of whom are beyond the reach of formal education,” he added.

Mr Botchwey said what the bank bring on board as an institution is the ability to make financial literacy relatable to all.  

The global theme for this year’s celebrations was ‘Literacy and Skills Development’ and for Ghana, it was amended to include ‘Empowerment’.

In attendance was the Deputy Education Minister, Catherine Appiah-Pinkrah who represented the Education Minister as well as the Acting Director of Non-formal Education, Francis Asumadu. 

 

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Gov’t to restructure Non-Formal Education Division, Ecobank promises to invest in educational projects

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The government has announced plans to restructure the Non-Formal Education Division of the Ghana Education Service to provide alternative education to Ghanaians.

Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh who announced this said the move has become necessary due to the failure of the National Functional Literacy Programme to address challenges associated with the provision of alternate education to an illiterate population.

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The New Non-Formal Education Agency will be responsible for the implementation of an alternative national education strategy that will take care of the numerous educational needs of Ghanaians outside the formal education system.

He announced this at the opening of the International Literacy Day in Accra with a call on all key stakeholders to adopt literacy programmes.

It is under the theme, “Empowerment through Literacy and Skills Development.”

It is aimed at raising awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world.

An official of the Education Ministry, Catherine Appiah-Pinkrah read the speech on behalf of Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh.

According to Dr Opoku Prempeh, the Non-Formal Education Division has inculcated the digital literacy in its medium-term plan to enable it to roll out mediated digital literacy programme for Ghanaian adults.

It is important to note that both UNESCO’s theme for this year’s celebration and the theme add more impetus to government’s desire to strengthen TVET and promote skills development in the informal sector through the NFED,” he said.

Director for Non-Formal Education Division, Francis Asumadu is also asking the government to focus critically on this area to develop the economy.

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According to him, this calls for collective efforts in program design and implementation with the aim of adopting perfect tailored-made literacy and skills development to create knowledge and competencies.

Meanwhile, ECOBANK Ghana, one of the partners for the Ministry of Education’s Literacy Programme is promising more funding support for the Non-Formal Education Division.

The Executive Director for Finance at ECOBANK, Dr Edward Botchway says Ecobank has invested ¢1.8 million on various educational activities and is likely to increase their budgetary support for non-formal education and other education-related projects.

Mr Botchwey said it is not good enough for Ecobank as an entity and the country to have illiterates.

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He explained that as part of the reasons for their corporate social responsibility they have contributed to the enhancement of quality education to all irrespective of financial or social standing

“We are willing to help the Ministry and Non-Formal Education Division to ensure that we open account for them and help them financially to ensure that we get the quality education we need,” he said.

September 8 is celebrated annually as the World Literacy Day by UNESCO since 1965 to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies.

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Ecobank announces winners of 2018 Fintech Challenge

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Nala, Virtual Identity and Wallet.ng dazzled the judging panel to be the three winners of the 2018 Ecobank Fintech Challenge.

All 11 finalists were officially inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship programme to explore commercial partnerships with the Pan-African banking giant.

The winners of the 2018 Ecobank Fintech Challenge were announced at a ceremony held at Ecobank’s (Ecobank.com) headquarters in Lome, Togo, on August 30, 2018.
 

Nala, from Tanzania, beat the 10 other finalists to emerge as the overall winner of the competition. 
 

Virtual Identity from South Africa and Wallet.ng from Nigeria were the first and second runners-up. 
 

They won cash prizes worth $10,000, $7,000 and $5,000 respectively.
 

Nala, based in Tanzania, is a mobile money application that works offline, without an internet connection. Nala provides a unified user experience in which multiple financial services can be connected on one application. 
 

It can host multiple SIMs, enabling users to manage their spending and take control of their finances.
 

Second-place Virtual Identity is an innovative platform designed to disrupt traditional customer onboarding for banks. 
 

The process is fully digital, creating a virtual video conferencing link between the agent and the customer. 
 

Its easy-to-use web-based solution allows the client to complete tedious KYC processes from anywhere, making it both convenient and time saving.
 

The third-place prize winner, Wallet.ng, is a start-up providing an alternative bank for a growing generation of digital natives. 
 

Its core strength is building a banking platform that is as native to customers’ devices as Facebook and WhatsApp.
 

Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO, praised the finalists for their innovative solutions and welcomed them to the fellowship: “We are proud of the impressive start-ups that made it to our 2018 final. 
 

“They are shining examples of the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity that will propel our continent’s global competitiveness in the commercial services markets, and I sincerely expect some, if not all, of them to be the business titans of tomorrow. 
 

“They have my congratulations and we look forward to working closely with all 11 fellows over the next year to deliver innovative banking services at better price-points that will improve the lives of Africans.”
 

This year’s Fintech Challenge was keenly contested with applications from over 412 innovative fintech entrepreneurs from across Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.
 

All 11 finalists were inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, a one-year business programme where they can explore opportunities for commercial partnerships with the Ecobank Group, to launch and scale products across Ecobank’s 33 country markets in the continent.
 

Launched in 2017, the second year of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge brought together fintech start-ups and innovators, policymakers, investors and development organisations from across the world to network, witness the 2018 finalists’ exhibitions, and celebrate the induction of the finalists into the 2018 Ecobank Fintech Fellowship.
 

Also present at the finals was Alhaji Dr Ibrahim Awal Mohammed, Minister of Business Development of Ghana, who commended Ecobank for this initiative and urged more support for young African entrepreneurs to improve job creation on the continent.

The Ecobank Fintech Challenge and Fellowship is designed and managed by advisory firm Konfidants and supported by FMO, Microsoft4Afrika, Accion Venture Labs, Cellulant and FinConecta. 

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Ecobank raises GH¢ 416.64 million to beat New Minimum Capital of GH¢ 400 m

Ecobank Ghana Limited has raised GH¢ 416.64 million to its stated capital to beat the GH¢ 400 million minimum capital requirement by Bank of Ghana.

Shareholders of Ecobank Ghana Limited have authorised the Bank to increase its stated capital from GH¢ 226 million to GH¢ 416.64 million, through a transfer of GH¢ 190 million from the Bank’s income surplus account.

The move is in compliance with the Bank of Ghana’s directive to all banks in the country to increase their minimum stated capital to GH¢ 400 million by the end of December, 2018.

Speaking at the Bank’s 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Accra, Mr Terence Ronald Darko, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ecobank Ghana, said because of the need to capitalise the income surplus to meet the new minimum capital requirements, the Bank was unable to pay dividend for 2017.

Ecobank recorded a revenue of GH¢1.1 billion, down seven per cent from 2016, keeping its market leadership in revenue terms.

However, he said, the bank would be issuing bonus shares of one share for every ten held, which in addition to the capital gains made on the bank’s stocks would be a big boost for shareholders.

‘The Board, working closely with the executive management team, is confident that the strategy currently being implemented will underpin the long-term growth of your company should lead to the resumption of cash dividend payment in the future,’ Mr Darko said.

Mr Darko said although 2017 was a difficult one for the banking industry due to the adverse macro-economic environment, characterised by declining yields on financial instruments, high levels of non-performing loans and increased competition for deposits, the bank was able to overcome the challenges and remains profitable.

The slight drop in revenue was attributed to declining interest rate and the one-off gains from de-recognition of financial assets amortised in 2016, which were not present in 2017.

The bank made a profit before tax of one-off gains from de-recognition of financial assets amortised GH¢358 million compared to GH¢463 million for the previous year.

Earnings per share of GH¢ 0.87, a decline of 22 per cent compared with GH¢1.12 in 2016 while return on total shareholders’ equity was 25 per cent in 2017 down from 35 per cent the prior year.

‘Our balance sheet is healthy, with total capital adequacy ratio of 13.76 per cent, which is above the regulatory threshold of 10 per cent,’ he said.

‘Going forward, we expect a boost in business confidence as the declining interest rate regime translates into lower cost of production and increased productivity for our clients,’ he said.

Mr Dan Sackey, the Managing Director Ecobank Ghana, said declining yields coupled with lower government borrowing as well as delayed payments from the energy sector and state owned enterprises had a negative impact on financial performance.

He said amidst the challenges the bank was able to further grow its balance sheet and customer deposits by over 20 percent.

‘Despite recording a slight dip in profits, the bank also achieved a three per cent return on assets and 25 per cent return on equity demonstrating how efficiently the bank was managed for the period,’ Mr Sackey said.

Mr Sackey said the bank’s digitization drive and adoption of mobile technologies had seen a tremendous success with more than 895,000 Ghanaians on board the mobile application.

Akufo-Addo hails NYA-Ecobank 3000 jobs deal

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has lauded Ecobank over a partnership deal with the National Youth Authority (NYA) to create 3000 jobs.

The Pan-African bank is offering to absorb 3000 unemployed youth after undergoing a three-month training programme.

The NYA on Thursday, February 08, 2018 launched the Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship Programme for persons between the ages of 15 to 35 with a minimum knowledge in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The programme will equip participants with the requisite technology-driven entrepreneurial skills to use the internet, especially social media to market their products and services as well as start virtual offices in a bid to reduce unemployment in Ghana.

“We have launched the Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship Programme at the Accra Digital Centre. This programme, with 10 regional training centres, has already recruited 3,000 young, unemployed people, to undergo a 3-month all-expenses-paid training,” President Akufo-Addo said during his second State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

He added: “I am happy to announce that Ecobank Ghana Ltd has already offered to engage all 3,000 young people, after the training programme. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

The Online Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship Training Programme is part of efforts to equip over 3000 youth, mostly the vulnerable with employable skills by December 2018.

Having passed a pre-test session to establish knowledge level, successful applicants will benefit from three-month hands on training and technical support.

E-Marketing and Digital Media Entrepreneurship Training has the potential to help create a more practical and current set of learning tools to match the rapidly changing skills required in today’s workforce, building a new generation with the required skills and confidence to succeed in an emerging knowledge society.

The NYA is collaborating with a number of organizations including the Accra Digital Centre, Kofi Annan ICT Centre, District Assemblies and Members of Parliament to carry out the programme.

President Akufo-Addo was represented at the launch by Senior minister Yaw Osafo Maafo, The Sports minister Isaac Asiamah and Communications minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful graced the occasion as the NYA and Ecobank signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

 

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Ecobank introduces Mobile App to Abossey Okai

Hundreds of Ecobank workers have stormed Ghana’s biggest spare parts market, Abossey Okai, to introduce the bank’s Mobile App to the dealers.

The bank is embarking on an aggressive campaign to promote a cash-lite society with its instant and convenient way of banking via the mobile phone.

The team from Ecobank sensitized traders in the market about the importance and benefits of electronic transactions.

The Ecobank Mobile App is the first unified app delivered by any institution for use in 33 countries and adds to the bank’s array of digital banking services.

Ecobank’s Head of Consumer Banking for Ghana and West Africa Tara Obodai Squire, said the Mobile App is catching up as it has more than 200,000 registered customers.

“A decent number of them are active users,” he told journalists.

As part of the Christmas festivities, the bank is offering a 1 percent charge on remittances via the Mobile app.

The full Ecobank Digital suit comprised Ecobank Mobile App, Ecobank Xpress Account, internet banking, Pan African Card, Automated teller Machines, Points of Sale terminals among others.