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Henry Sampson Speaks At First Stanbic Open Banking Forum

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Henry Sampson Speaks At First Stanbic Open Banking Forum

digital , 03-06-2018

Stanbic Bank Ghana held the first ever open Bank Forum in Ghana at its Head Office, Stanbic Heights on the 30th of May,2018. The event had individuals working in the Ghanaian tech space, particularly Fintechs in attendance. Foster Awintiti Akugiri of Stanbic Bank Incubator, was the moderator of the forum which had four panellists present. The four panellists were Ashwin Ravichandran (General Manager of MEST Ghana), Henry Sampson (Head of Research & Operations, DreamOval Limited), Patrick Quantson (Head of Digital Transformation, Stanbic Bank) and Mr Stephen Sasu Yeboah (Chief Manager of Payment Systems, BOG)

Why Open Banking

Open banking is a financial technology term that refers to the use of open API’s which enable third-party developers to build applications and services around financial institutions. This simply means soon you will be able to directly make transactions from your account using a third party app like Slydepay or Facebook. Like any other decision to be made, there are many schools of thought on this. One school of thought believes there will be greater financially transparent options for account holders while the other holds the view that banks are threatened by this decision.

At the forum, Mr Sasu Yeboah said customers want transparency, information and affordable products. To banks, this means there is an urgent need to be modernised and digitised almost like what open baking offers. Mr Quatson was of the view that banks understand consumers better because of the volumes of customers they have and experience from being established for long. Though Open Banking is a conversation banks are running away from, it allows banks to aggregate systems to the entire ecosystem.

‘The scariest bit is losing monopoly over the customer. It’s not just our customer anymore, but everybody’s customer.’

Henry felt there was no need to question the move. His concerns were over where the data for open banking will sit ultimately. Currently, majority of customer data sits with the banks and telcos in Ghana. Once open banking is allowed in Ghana, the concept of identity will be owned by the state. In the end, the winner will not be the one with the most data, but the company with the best service since data will be an open secret among, banks, telcos and third-party apps and systems.

Advantages of Open Banking

Ashwin was of the view that understanding the needs of startups will help ultimately pinpoint faults in the system. According to him, startups provide feedback for regulators and banks since they get their hands dirty by doing most of the ground works.

Open banking, when it comes into full effect will cause synergy to occur in the Fintech ecosystem. It will provide an opportunity to move funds and authenticate customers in real time.

In his closing remarks at the forum, Henry said, “There is massive duplication in the system and this is creating silos. We are not sharing data and this increases risks for us all.”