Fidelity Bank says it has chalked a “remarkable milestone in our drive towards digitalising our banking services”.
More than 80% of customer transactions recorded in 2020, it said, “took place via our various digital channels; an accomplishment that bears testament to the successful migration and conversion of the majority of our customers onto digital platforms”.
This came to light when the bank held its virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday, 11 June 2021.
The meeting gave shareholders the opportunity to consider and adopt the report of the directors for the financial year ended 31 December 2020.
Addressing shareholders during the AGM, Board Chairman Edward Effah reiterated that the bank’s array of digital products and services including the Fidelity Mobile App, Online Account Opening, Online Banking Portal, USSD, GHQR payments, Cards and the recently-launched WhatsApp Banking Assistant, Kukua, enabled customers to access our services seamlessly and conveniently in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated: “In line with our strategy to leverage technology for the purposes of empowering customers to conduct simple and personalised online transactions, we introduced Kukua, our 24-Hour WhatsApp Banking Assistant who is fully conversant with our suite of offerings. Kukua has proven to be a useful addition to our blossoming suite of digital services, and I must say that our various digital services have been pivotal in bolstering our resilience in the face of the pandemic.”
Mr Effah also informed shareholders that Fidelity Bank is the first bank in Ghana to partner with SWIFT, the global provider of secure financial messaging services, to adopt the Global Payments Innovation (GPI) service.
“This industry-first initiative, which is slated to go live later this year, enables real-time tracking of cross-border payments and provides end-to-end traceability ensuring accuracy in ascertaining the status of remittances”, the bank said in a statement.
Mr Effah also reported that even though business activity slowed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank continued to support its individual and business clients throughout the year by providing financial support for selected businesses as well as training opportunities such as Fidelity Presents…, a thought leadership webinar series that was held in partnership the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The webinar offered pragmatic strategies to over 300 SMEs to help them to address the difficulties presented by COVID-19.
The bank also introduced the Fidelity Young Entrepreneurs Fund (FYEF) to support young people involved in building scalable businesses.
Additionally, the bank undertook many social impact activities aimed at supporting the government in the fight against COVID-19.
Highlighting some of these activities at the AGM, Julian Opuni, the Managing Director, said, “as the custodian of the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, we donated GH¢1million to support the construction of Ghana’s first Infectious Disease Centre located at the Ga East Municipal Hospital in Accra. Additionally, to show our appreciation to healthcare workers for being at the forefront of the pandemic, we launched an auto loan package for members of the Ghana Medical Association. This auto loan package allows members of the Ghana Medical Association to acquire vehicles at concessionary interest rates in recognition of their sacrificial efforts for the country.”
Mr Opuni also enumerated several philanthropic donations to medical facilities and educational institutions across the country.
On the bank’s fiscal performance, the Board Chairman reported that notwithstanding the turbulence that hit the banking sector in 2020, Fidelity Bank proved resilient and posted strong financials.
According to Mr Effah, from the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, the bank adopted a strategic and data-driven business decision-making approach, which enabled it to weather the storm and continue along our growth trajectory, reporting year-on-year growth in key financial metrics.
Consequently, the bank recorded a profit before tax of GHC 382 million in 2020, representing a 19% increase from the GHC 322 million recorded in 2019.
In 2021, the bank says it remains committed to expanding its digital banking footprint, supporting more businesses, maximising shareholder value, and partnering with both private and public sector stakeholders to boost the growth of the economy.