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CUSTOMER/ACCOUNTS MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS – STANDARD

CHARTERED BANK

Introduction

Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ltd is one of the leading financial


institutions in Ghana. It has its headquarters in the capital city of Accra and
networked across its twenty – four (24) branches nationwide. It is the first
bank to be established in the country and sub - Saharan British West Africa in
1903. Over the years it has grown from strength to to strength and is
currently the third largest bank in the country in terms of balance sheet and
the second most profitable bank in the country. It’s listed on the Ghana Stock
exchange with the highest bidding price per share. Currently it has about
25% market share in the industry. It is an international bank with its group
head office in London. As a bank, its competitive strategy is to be the best
international bank acroos the Middle East, Asia and Africa and it seeks to do
this through its most efficient IT infrastructures.

Currently I am the Area Relationship Manager for the Medium Enterprise


business’ in the Western Part of Ghana. In my role I come into contact with a
lot of functional units to be able to deliver exceptional experiences that will
delight my clients.

In my institution, Management Information Systems (MIS) is a force due to


the continual stream of information innovations technology, with which
organization, individual and the general public are using to enable transform
their traditional activities. Examples includes the e-banking, the use of
intranet for organizational communication by managers, emergence of cloud
computing, growth of mobile digital business platform ,and the emergence of
the online transactions by customers where they can sit comfortably in their
offices and initiate and approve banking transactions online. These amongst
others has created enormous market base for businesses, and even their
customers who can deposit cash into their accounts and can instantly be
viewed from their offices. This has eliminated the instance where customers
would have to wait for printed bank statements before reconciling inflows
and outflows on their accounts. This has helped to reduce cost whilst
feedback is very instant.

Generally the information systems has become part of the daily activities
within every aspect of our businesses especially in the service delivery
sector of the Ghanaian market, and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) has an
elaborate information system that helps us to not only serve our customers
ever modern demands, but also to compete in the growing banking trends
and practices in the business world. At SCB, there are some basic roles and
responsibility within departments in the banking industry of Ghana that
cannot simply not hold without the use of information systems.

My Role

First of all, the basic roles that I perform in my department include;

• Ownership and responsibility for growing the SCB-SME business in


Western Ghana – Takoradi and Tarkwa where the bank is represented
• Developed and implemented strategic plans aimed at guiding
borrowers on the utilization of credit facilities.
• Critically screening and reviewing proposals and requests from
prospective borrowers.
• Engaging Risk management team to identify and propose mitigants for
all facilities
• Prepare quality credit applications in respect of financial analysis,
industry information, customer profile and overall risk/reward analysis.
• Evaluation of credit applications of SME clients to match their credit
needs and business operations within policy and controls.
• Monitoring of existing portfolio to ensure no facilities are overdue and
customers adhere to all stated covenants in their loan agreements.
• Establishing professional relationship with clients and advice
prospective clients the type of banking products that suits their needs
and business.
• Personally responsible for monitoring, review and management for all
accounts (both Asset & Liability) in Western Sector.

I also ensure that good relationships are maintained and deepened with
existing customers whiles establishing new relationships with prospective
customers. Again I follow up on Processing of customer’s request with other
units of the bank and provide call reports after each visit and management
reports to discuss issues.

Standard Chartered Information System & Me

All these set of activities are done very effectively with the help of the
technology software and hard ware with which we use as a platform to
execute this responsibility to the customers of our company and the
wellbeing of the internal customers. The set of processes with which
activities are done is made possible by the deployment of good technology
base whereby the unit management has created a customer relationship
management system known as SME Informer. This system helps my
department to coordinate all business processes from prospecting, through
relationship management to loan management. It consolidates and
integrates customer information from various channels by the use of
telephone, emails, field observation etc. The technology department develop
a good real time and robust technology base which uses a unified
communication technology, made up of the emails (intranet and extranet),
telephone, cell phones and transaction data which has accelerated
information sharing and decision making by employees and management
within my department. Example a customer’s request can be attended to
within a short time because it gives the customers’ ability to make their
request through the cell phone, e-mail and any electronic medium and it
seen as authentic enough to give the mandate to a banking officer to
execute transactions on behalf of the customer even before the customer
walks into the banking hall, this has aided the effectiveness of service
delivery to my customers. Customers can also sit in the comfort of their
offices and make payments on their accounts whiles monitoring their
outflows and inflows.

The Technology employed by my unit is A software called SME Informer


which is a form of data collection system about customers that before
account is opened for customers, personal details are collected by the bank
staff, this details are inputed into the computer which gives all the various
banking related information about the history of the customer. The system
help collect all relevant information of customers and their preferences
which helps increase the effectiveness the lending and customer
management process. Processes such as transfer request are even made by
customers in their offices or on their cell phones and is worked on at the
branch.

Relationship banking has become exceptionally competitive and time


sensitive hence management has created the use of unified communication
technology which helps to save time and helps facilitate information sharing
between managers and employees regarding customer transactions and
requests. For example transfer request from my customer in another branch
could be processed and scanned to the wire transfer department and would
not need to come to my unit or domicile branch before it can be acted on.
This has been made possible because our system is networked and
customers can transact at any of our branches. This helps the customer as
turnaround time for their banking requests have improved significantly
without any delay in service delivery. Also through the internet banking
known as e-banking this gives the customer the platform to have access to
his account at anytime without visiting the banking hall, customers can
initiate purchases on line through our ATM and the Electronic chip-base VISA
card where each account holder can make purchases on line.

Another contribution to my service delivery through technology is the


verification of account balances. This has helped cut down transaction work
and save cost for the department because through any vantage point due to
the wireless internet platform customers can access their accounts by
checking their balances and viewing their periodic statements. Hitherto, we
were printing and mailing bank statements to our customers which come
with a cost.

Also the security technology which my department is using is protected by


Verizon security systems this internationally secured software system helps
e-banking products of the company which has really reduced the hours
customers spend in the banking halls to get a service. Example of banking
stress that has been cut down is the balance enquiry request, and cheque
request which can be made through the ATM Point of sale or via internet
banking.

Furthermore, the introduction of this system as a working tool into the


processes of service delivery has helped to a larger extent the ability of the
bank to be able to store customer data so as to generate the history of the
company when requests for credit facilities are made to the bank, it also
sends such data to credit rating agencies which helps with informed
judgments about every customer to avoid high default of loans.

Challenges Posed by the System

The above efficiencies notwithstanding has a few challenges that are still
being ironed out by the Bank. These include;

1. Slowness due to overloading of server. Several minutes of waiting is


sometimes experienced when I need to retrieve information from the
system. This is often experienced when the system is overloaded with
users. Sometimes, it just hangs and nothing can be done.

2. The system sometimes breaks down totally, requiring us to revisit the


old way of undertaking transactions. This can sometimes be
frustrating as you keep on giving excuses to customers.
3. Mistakes due to wrong entries and deletions. Because the system
accommodates several users, each with various inputs, sometimes,
some information are lost or amended. Indeed, the system is able to
identify the author of every alteration; still, the wrong information
might have been used before detection. This poses quite a challenge.

Like every system, changes and alterations are done until it gets to
perfection and the SME Informer is still open for suggestions from users.
Their needs and demands help considerably to ensure that new features that
will further enhance the system are installed.

Personal Benefits

My personal take and satisfaction about the information systems that allows
me to deliver in my role are:

1. Quick attendance to my customers’ demand, something that would


have taken me hours to do now requires only a few minutes.

2. The excellent telephoning simplified by the system allows me to make


a quick phone call to colleagues, customers and supervisors even from
my car!

3. I am able to cull specified information from various sub-sections of the


system to produce an elaborate report within a matter of days, saving
myself some time to attend to other issues.

4. Train and retrain colleagues and subordinates to be efficient and


competitive. That way, we work together as a team to deliver
departmental goals.

5. Finally, the collective relief that I gain thanks to the bank’s information
system cannot be quantified.