The Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies (GHASALC) has called on members to embrace technology to deliver value-added services to customers.

This would enable them to drive financial inclusion and withstand the growing competition in the financial sector.

Speaking at the Association’s annual general meeting (AGM), the Chairman of GHASALC, Mr Kofi Ampofo Agyapong, said technology had come to make things easier for everyone and the banking sector was no exception.

“It is in the wake of technology that has pushed us to believe that digital financing is indeed here to drive financial inclusion to a whole new level. Savings and loans companies therefore do not want to be exempted from this new technology,” he said.

Speaking on the AGM’s theme: “Digital Financing: The new dawn in banking towards unlimited opportunities for Savings and Loans”, Mr Agyapong said GHASALC was more than willing to seek and create the platform of opportunities and to collaborate with institutions or stakeholders who were ready to take the digital financing path.

“I am very optimistic that in subsequent years we will see positive collaborations between savings and loans companies towards the implementation of more beneficial digital financing methodologies that will further improve financial intermediation in our sector,” he said.

The Association’s total assets doubled from GH¢112,282 in 2014 to GH¢225,032 in 2015 while membership subscription saw significant improvement from GH¢59,560 in 2014 to GH¢72,000.00 in 2015.

Total income jumped from GH¢140,577 in 2014 to 285,502 in 2015, resulting in a net surplus of GH¢90,265.

With increasing staff members, activities including workshops and training for members, the Association’s total expenses which stood at GH¢95,829 in 2014 increased to GH¢160,995 in 2015.

The Association, with input from all levels, has now put together a five-year strategic plan from 2015 to 2019 which is now fully operational.

Eunice Brako Marfo, the Executive Secretary of GHASALC, said the secretariat was working hard to continue growing the image and strength of the association through the building of stronger network with national and international affiliates who have growing interests in the sector.

“I can attest to the numerous study tours from Uganda on two different occasions where sampled members were introduced to both regulators and practitioners in Uganda," she said.

"The brand has also gradually exposed the sector to investors who have particular interest in savings and loans companies because of their relative capacity, structure, methodology, and strength in operating as financial institutions in Ghana,” she added.