Traditional banking hasn’t worked well in some areas of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa, where a large percentage of the population has been financially underserviced. New, innovative fintechs have been only too happy and qualified to fill the void. By expanding access, fintechs are promoting economic and social growth in the region, especially in high-tech hubs South Africa and Kenya, which are setting an example for others to follow.
No one can deny that around the world, bank branches are shutting their doors, alarming consumer advocates. But who is mainly behind the trend away from brick and mortar and toward digital? As research proves, the prime mover is the customer, whose changing demands and expectations are causing the shift. Fortunately, today’s two main banking channels are not mutually exclusive; they can work successfully in tandem.
An efficient financial sector is central to maximizing an economy’s potential by helping it to make optimal and longer-term investments. Developing countries face a chicken and egg dilemma when it comes to financing, because it is hard to have efficient financial services without companies that can make good use of funding. This article examines how practical intervention to build the capacity of financial services through professional training will boost developing countries.
Innovations in technology have transformed the way we bank in our personal lives. Now, as long as we have a Wi-Fi connection and a mobile phone, tablet or laptop to hand, we are able to check our balances, make payments and transfer money anywhere at any time.
Costa Rica has been one of Central America’s most prosperous and stable countries, providing many opportunities for its financial sector to flourish—despite the government’s recent liquidity crisis. BAC Credomatic Costa Rica, with its emphasis on placing the customer in the centre, has made the best use of the advantages its home country offers. Country Manager Federico Odio González gave us a run-down on BAC’s commitment to streamlining while improving its operations.
Brexit looms large over all aspects of the UK’s banking sector, including hiring plans. Continued uncertainty about what direction the UK/EU divorce proceedings will go (if they go at all) has organisations on edge, but that didn’t stop them from hiring last year, research shows. Retaining existing top-notch talent was a priority, but attracting new, highly skilled professionals was also a common goal, with UK banks topping the hiring charts.
The global financial crisis triggered many changes to the world’s financial system, including the ascension of alternative finance: financial channels, sources and instruments that exist beyond the traditional. Spurred on by the capital needs of fast-growing small and medium-sized firms and prospective real-estate buyers, alternative finance has mushroomed over the past 10 years into a multi-faceted, ever-evolving financial powerhouse capable of overcoming barriers to obtaining finance.
Banks were created to work for and on behalf of their customers, and by staying true to that purpose, they earned their customers’ trust that they placed the financial interests of consumers at the centre of their operations. Over time, and partly due to financial crises, that trust has been eroded, and only a root-and-branch reform will recreate the societal purpose on which ethical banking was founded.
It is becoming clear that trade digitisation has huge potential to unlock access to world trade for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The move away from laborious, manual, paper-based processes will lever simpler access to trade finance
The expression “What goes around comes around” applies to banks, but in a positive way, especially when they support the small businesses in their communities by increasing access to capital. OPIC can testify to such a phenomenon in the West Bank, which witnessed an economic turn-around at many levels following the US development-finance institution’s loan guaranty to a small-business-lending facility Middle East Investment Initiative.