The Impact of Database Management as a Tool in Building Customer Relationship. (A Case Study of Otuasekan Rural Bank)
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Report (1994), an estimated of 67.3% of the nearly
25milion Ghanaian population live in the rural areas. It is believed that the bulk of the output from agricultural sector, which
is invariably the backbone of the Ghanaian economy account for about 36.5% of the Gross Domestic products in 1990(Daily
Graphic 11/12/2000..The term “rural bank” was introduced into the banking vocabulary of Ghana in the 1970’s, precisely in
1976 when the first rural bank was opened at Agona Nyarkrom in the Central Region of Ghana. However, no law in Ghana
has provided a definition for the term rural bank even though section 47 of the banking act 1970 defines such terms as bank,
banking enterprise and the business of banking. The goal is to serve the financial needs of the rural settlement, as means of
meeting development objectives, such as to reduce poverty, create employment and income opportunities through the
creating and expansion of micro- enterprise and to reduce rural families dependence on Agricultural activities. The decision
to set up a rural bank in a particular locality is made by the bank of Ghana either on its own initiative or upon application by
individual or group of persons or association who are interested in establishing the bank. In law, such individuals or groups
are called Promoters. After bank of Ghana has decided that a rural bank should be set up. The Promoters are expected to
incorporate a public company and acquire a banking license in accordance with companies’ code, 1963 and the banking act
1970. (From law of Rural Banking in Ghana by Dr. Kwaku Addeah).Savings mobilization and lending are the major
operating activities and life –blood of all banking institutions. Given the peculiar case of rural banks that have to mobilize
scattered rural incomes at a high cost into saving and lend to the same respondents with virtually no collateral to support
such credits. Efforts should be made to design and implement effective proper records keeping policies, which can
adequately screen customers before granting those credits and also help build a healthy relationship with them. This in a way
helps to sustain the rural banks and make them competitive enough to achieve the objective for which they were established.
Proper records keeping policy has therefore been a major problem the rural banks are facing in other to fulfill their
objectives. This is because ever since rural banking was introduced in the country ( Ghana) in 1976, the national system of
records keeping has been used till date. Where customer’s information was only available in books and on papers something
which is easily prone to destruction if proper care is not taken. In an attempt to bridge the gap, the government of Ghana in a
report issued in the Daily’s in (1998) urged all rural banks to shift to the computer system of maintaining customer records.
This will go a long way to help easy retrieval of customer’s records, handling customer complaints and then building
customer loyalty which will lead to effective/ healthy relationship between rural banks and their customers. This
computerization system has therefore resulted in database management which is now being practiced by major banks in the
country. Database management tracks individual customers and work out what marketing stimuli they respond to next. The
aim is to form a relationship with the target customers.
Key words- Customer relationship, Database management, Confidentiality.