Prudential Bank, a leading indigenous bank, continues to prove its versatility and innovativeness after 25 years of consistently creating rewarding partnerships through the delivery of customer-centric banking services. The Bank in 2019 embarked upon a digital transformation agenda to develop and enhance its electronic banking offering to continue to meet the changing needs of customers. COVID-19 struck shortly thereafter and undoubtedly changed and continues to change our world into what is now known as the “new normal". Thus, the decision by the Bank to embark on a digital transformation drive just a year before the covid-19 pandemic struck, could not have been timelier.
There were two key ingredients that were critical for success in the new normal; sustained financial strength and the ability to adapt service delivery to new ways of living to remain relevant. These two key ingredients coupled with the Bank's first core value of putting customers first provided the needed foundation for the new strategic direction of digital transformation. In fulfillment of its digitalization agenda, the Bank has rolled out various digital products and other initiatives to enhance its product and service delivery. Key amongst these are:
Enhanced USSD services:
The Bank's USSD application has been revamped and given a dedicated code *772# with enhanced features including airtime top-up, bill payments, linking mobile wallets to bank accounts, transfers to other banks and other functions in a convenient & safe manner. For merchants & businesses, this code also offers extension capabilities to receive payments via mobile money eliminating the need to handle cash with its attendant consequences.
Varied Card Options:
In addition to the GhlPSS gh-Link & e zwich cards, the bank provided solutions for international card payments online & on POS terminals. The Union Pay International (UPI) cards were rolled out for use by both retail clients & businesses to complement the existing contactless Visa cards using the latest trends in CHIP & PIN technology. This measure aside from promoting contactless transactions also enhances the drive towards a cash-lite economy.
Contactless POS terminals / Mobile Retail Solution:
PBL has also deployed contactless POS terminals for its business clients as a way of reducing the spread of infections. These high-end devices accept major international cards like Visa & MasterCard as well as mobile money. This was also complemented by the Bank's mobile money retail solution, M-Pay, for mobile money receipts. Key benefits are reduction of cash handling & a potential spread of the Covid-19 virus.
GhlPSS in June 2021 started the deployment of the GhQR solution as a low-cost collections alternative to merchants who do not want to use POS terminals. As a Ghanaian bank that believes in the MADE IN GHANA agenda, PBL was one of the first banks to respond to the GhlPSS call to promote the deployment of this solution & has massively rolled it out in areas of its operations. PBL has further gone ahead to embed the code on its USSD platform; *772#.
Bulk Payments Solution:
In spite of the pandemic, business still goes on with some disruptions & nuances. Businesses still had to make payments to suppliers, salary payments, government agencies for statutory returns, etc. and it was imperative to have a customized solution to meet these needs. Enter PBLs DigiPAY solution to the rescue! This is an enhanced version of PBL's Corporate Banking internet banking. This customized platform allows for bulk payments in the thousands in a single batch, as well as to multiple bank accounts or mobile money wallets at just the click of a button.
Indeed, PBL DigiPAY makes payments so easy while ensuring social distancing!
Web acquiring/ e-commerce service:
This service allows merchants/businesses/institutions to receive payments remotely & even worldwide via widely accepted card schemes like Visa& MasterCard as well as mobile money. This promotes a cash lite society and also facilitates business in a socially distanced manner. PBL is one of the few banks offering this service currently in Ghana.
Enhanced Cyber Security Awareness:
In order to mitigate the risk of cyber fraud, the Bank has acquired 1SO27001 and other international cyber and information security certifications to provide greater safety & convenience for customers using the Bank's digital platforms.
Automation of Internal Processes:
In a bid to ensure continuous improvements in customer service delivery, the Bank continues to pursue process reengineering to enhance operational efficiency.
that not all clients are tech-savvy & aligned to the many self-services digital solutions the bank has deployed. To improve customer engagement, the bank opened its Contact Center to assist clients with their basic banking needs & enquiries. The depth of knowledge of the staff gives customers the feel of personalized services without necessarily being at a branch.
Furthermore, the Bank's focus at all times is on the safety and well being of customers, employees, and communities and it continues to institute measures to ensure that customers are able to operate seamlessly even in the face of restricted movements, lockdowns and the general business slowdown.
In the area of social responsibility, the Bank's strategic corporate and social objectives have positioned it firmly to support a number of social programmes including the Chana Teachers' Award Scheme, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, COVID-19 Fund, and orphanages.
To crown it all, the Bank has developed several rewarding partnerships with customers over the years and in particular Fintechs in more recent years leading to recognition for excellence in service delivery. Notable among the awards are the CIMG 2021 ratings as a Five star Bank for Outstanding Service Quality, second overall Best Bank for Customer Service and Best Bank for Net Promotor Score.
In summary, Prudential Bank's versatility and innovativeness have been made possible by its dedicated and wel1-trained staff who have consistently upheld the Bank's vision and core values and the use of technology to deliver exceptional service.
There is no doubt that PBL has blended its human capital with digital capabilities over the period to remain competitive to continue to deliver value to its stakeholders.