ECR first developed a banking solution for First National Bank in Ghana.
Over the last 15 years Africa rapidly became the second-fastest economic growing region in the world, with a rapidly growing IT infrastructure.
This growth in part triggered a boom in the banking sector and opened up a wealth of opportunities for technology and financial services providers.
It is estimated that 95% of the 500 million adults in sub-Saharan Africa earn less than $10 a day and don’t have access to a bank account.
ECR has been operating in Ghana since 2011 with a view to delivering solutions which put the emphasis on customer service and help businesses fulfil their potential by providing them with optimum transparency and traceability.
In August 2012, First National Bank, Ghana’s premier savings and loans bank (FNSL), deployed ECR’s handheld mobile point of sale (MPoS) solution.
First National Bank is the only private bank with active working branches in each of the 12 regions of Ghana.
ECR’s MPoS system utilises industry-leading mobile technology to deliver secure end-to-end revenue collections made across Ghana for First National Bank.
Collectors are equipped with an ECR XPDA – a handheld terminal with on-board banking software, built-in printer and GPRS connectivity. The software provides First National branch managers with real-time updates of all the revenues being collected on the ground. Meanwhile, people making a deposit can rely on the convenience and trustworthiness of handing over money at their home or small business with the certainty the transaction has been made securely and reliably.
Previously, there were concerns over the legitimacy of deposits made via agents on the ground, with banks unable to trace whether specific transactions had occurred. Agents would potentially return to the branch to declare their daily transactions without certainty about what had been collected.
The ECR system removed this complication and is eliminating fraud. It produces a live electronic record of the transactions that have been made by each collector in real time, while customers are now issued with a printed receipt detailing the amount they have deposited. This development has had a dramatic effect on how Ghanaians conduct their banking affairs and is leading the banking evolution across the 12 regions within the country.
- Reduced fraud
Agents can verify customers’ identities and access profile and account information in person quickly, in order to process transactions promptly and securely. This data is linked with the in-store banking systems and provides branch managers with live reporting of the transactions that have taken place, eliminating the possibility of fraud.
- Instant transaction validation
Customers are provided with a printed record of their transaction the moment it is processed so they can validate what they deposited and when. Previously, customers were not provided with any such record and the depository system was less security.
- Increased security
Agents can use the system to provide a live record of the money they have collected, from whom and at what time to their branch managers. Customers also now have a recognisable system which they can trust. This reduces the opportunity for money to be misplaced, lost in the system or pocketed by rogue collection agents.
- Quicker transactions speeds/Improved
GPRS connectivity means transactions can be processed instantaneously. Agents can now collect more payments each day, improving their efficiency whilst branch
managers can gain a greater understanding of the performance of the agents and the number of payments they are collecting. This ultimately improves customer service as customers can not only be dealt with and quickly with minimal hassle but by a system they can trust.
- Cost reduction/reduced admin
The time savings that result from the new system have a number of cost benefits, most notably reduced administrative costs. With staff now having to spend less time auditing accounts and tracking payments, they can focus on other key operational issues – thus improving their effectiveness to the business.
- Real-Time Management
The banking and cash control system eliminates any shrinkage problems by high-lighting fraudulent activity. The cash office module controls all financial activity by cash, cheque and credit card. Transactions can be tracked through the business process via a simple but effective dashboard facility.
- Reduced administration
- Improved banking operational procedures
- Improved customer relations
- Saving with confidence
First National Savings and Loans (FNSL) has hailed the initial implementation as a success. Administrative tasks which previously would have taken days to complete can now be processed in a matter of minutes.
As a direct result, supervisory FNSL staff can now concentrate on managing their employees’ performance more closely, as the need to spend hours reconciling client accounts has been removed. The new system has also dramatically reduced the number of daily inconsistencies surrounding collected amounts. This has been a key factor in helping the company to forecast accurately.
Hilda Nkansa, Title, First National Bank
“The ECR revenue management system has enabled the bank to get full visibility of our operations and customers and our mobilisers now all insist on using the terminal because of the speed and ease of use.”
Amma Korang, Vegetables Trader, Makola No.1 Market
“The new machines give traders confidence that the money collected is actually going into our accounts, as we can see for ourselves our account details being brought up on the computer.”