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Five Ways Banks Can Win This Year

February 10, 2021

Helen Whelan

The challenges of last year had a major impact on the world of digital payments and value-added services. This brought opportunities for growth that can continue into 2021 as banks adapt to new customer expectations and needs.

Let’s consider some of these opportunities and look at how banks can get ahead in this coming year.

Focus Your Money Transfer Offering

Money transfer is an invaluable offering for banks. Recently, we have seen this value grow when banks are able to tap into the retailer cash-out network, thereby expanding their reach. When you partner with major retailers to offer recipients wider options for collecting their money transfer orders, you are making your service accessible and convenient for more people. This increases the potential of the user base for your service, and the fees you can earn.

Ensuring that your platform is fast, stable, and has minimal downtime is key to the success of any money transfer service. With a leading money transfer platform, such as Electrum’s, integration is fast and easy. The existing partner networks mean that you can launch new services quickly. In addition to this, our platform comes equipped with back-office functionality to keep track of your revenue, including reconciliation, fee calculations, billing, and reporting.

Make VAS Work for You

Now is the time to take a lesson from the Tier 1 retailers and consider how to turn your VAS (value-added services) business into a profit-centre. Although cash remains king in South Africa, the importance of digital VAS offerings is undeniable, especially when digital purchases account for more high-value VAS transactions than cash.

Speed to market has been a sticking point whenever new digital goods and services are added to a bank’s portfolio. In the past, making use of existing payment rails to process VAS transactions has been one of the main problems encountered. Increasingly, we are seeing banks and retailers moving to cloud-based SaaS solutions, like Electrum’s Transaction Hub. This allows you to quickly integrate new providers with a reliable, versatile platform. As you refine your VAS strategy, you can negotiate better commercials through an omni-channel approach with multiple providers and offer the best-possible customer experience - giving your customers more than your competitors can.

The Power is in Your App

Consumers are continually looking for the most seamless payment experience - especially when this is mobile-friendly. Offering multiple VAS products and various payment options on a simple and convenient mobile platform will set you apart from your competitors. If you can capture consumers through your app, you can grow customer loyalty and engagement - increasing app usage and growing revenue.

This has become key as the pandemic continues into its second year, with the possibility of further waves to come and consumers trying to limit their contact with the general public. If you make it easy for them to pay their bills, buy electricity, or purchase airtime from the safety of their own home, you can get ahead of the retailers who previously dominated this space.

Continue to Go Contactless

Partly due to the pandemic, contactless payments have become widely accepted and extensively used by consumers. One of the biggest areas of growth remains with QR payments. Consumers have come to expect this contactless payment option from both retailers and banks, as they are wary about the virus spreading through surfaces and cash, or because of the convenience factor of this digital payment type.

In addition to expanding your customer base, offering QR payments can form a key part of your merchant acquiring strategy. Set yourself apart from competitors by offering your merchants more payment options and increase the potential of fees earned.

Get Onboard with Rapid Payments

We recently explored the success that rapid payments are having in other countries such as India and Thailand. Retail banks need to keep their eye on this as RPP (Rapid Payments Programme) evolves here in South Africa. Consumers desperately need affordable, instant digital payments, and being able to offer this service will definitely drive customer attraction and retention.

If you are looking to build your business in 2021, or would like to chat about some of these opportunities, get in touch with us today.

Helen Whelan

Helen Whelan is a Content Writer at Electrum. With a BSc (Hons) from Rhodes University, she enjoys the combination of creativity and technical topics that content creation at Electrum involves. Cats and coffee fuel her day.

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