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Marketing Financial Services in sub-Saharan Africa


Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Bank Marketing

Special Issue Editors:


Estelle van Tonder of the North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Daniël J. Petzer of the Gordon Institute of Business Science of the University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa
Jillian Farquhar of Solent University, Southampton, UK and the Gordon Institute of Business Science of the University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa
Linda Deigh of the Academic City College, Accra, Ghana


The growth potential of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is well documented in practitioner reports (e.g. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), World Bank and McKinsey). Exciting opportunities abound in this region and have caught the attention of major investors from all over the globe who perceive SSA countries as attractive markets for foreign direct investment (Amankwah-Amoah, Boso & Debrah, 2018). This region is home to approximately 550 million people of employment age and the market potential for banking is estimated between $490 and $950 billion in additional credit (PWC, 2017).

To fully capitalise on the growth potential evident in SSA, it is important for regulators, policy makers and commerce to ensure that financial inclusion is fast-tracked across all economic spheres, particularly households (PWC, 2017). Extant literature argues for the promotion of mobile money, in particular (e.g. Bongomin et al., 2018; Mothobi & Grzybowski, 2017; Gosavi, 2018), to address the need for greater financial inclusion in SSA banking systems that are still largely underdeveloped and bounded by low infrastructure levels. Mobile telephony contributes to connecting people with each other as well as with information, services and markets (Aker & Mbiti, 2010).

However, the SSA financial services industry is on the brink of a FinTech revolution that may completely transform current business models, prompting the need for further evaluation of the challenges and opportunities that may impact on the promotion of financial services and inclusion in SSA. New entrants, such as insurance companies and other non-traditional players (e.g. neobanks) are acquiring banking licenses and are aggressively investing in FinTech platforms to advance their banking and investment products in SSA. The disruptive financial services environment has resulted in traditional and non-traditional financial service providers competing on the basis of low-cost operating models and innovative product solutions, but the extent to which these initiatives may be successful over the long term is still unclear.

Extant literature denotes typical determinants of financial inclusion or exclusion in developing countries as gender, income, education and age (Zins & Weill, 2016; Asuming, Osei-Agyei & Mohammed, 2019; Chikalipah, 2017). Additionally, it has been observed that marketing success in SSA seems to be dependent on a number of key drivers, such as the ability to adjust to unexpected market changes, recognition of diversity within a value chain system, reaching consumers in innovative ways as well as being open to co-innovation with the identified target market and having the capacity to network with other stakeholders in the market to benefit from brand equity (Amankwah-Amoah, Boso, & Debrah, 2018). Doing business in Africa may also require attention to the development of human capital resources, formal and informal institutional restraints, the diffusion and adoption of technology as well as collaboration with other African countries (Amankwah-Amoah, Egbetokun & Osabutey, 2018). Hence, in this environment, traditional financial services marketing strategies may need refinement to allow for the provision of compelling value propositions that will resonate in the SSA marketplace and that may truly appeal to their needs and interests. It is therefore proposed that academic research should be undertaken to advance theory and deepen understanding of the role of FinTech in a variety of cultural and developmental contexts as well as the challenges and opportunities that may impact on the successful marketing of financial services by traditional and non-traditional financial service providers.

Against this background, you are invited to submit contributions that will provide deeper insight into compelling value propositions that may appeal to the SSA financial services market. We specifically welcome papers that will provide greater understanding of:
-    The diverse consumption attitudes, needs, behaviours and mindsets of SSA consumers within the contemporary financial services market.
-    Value propositions that may appeal to SSA consumers and ultimately contribute to wealth building and poverty alleviation on the African continent.
-    Marketing strategies for traditional and non-traditional financial service providers that will enable them to defend their competitive position in the market and to retain or attract new customers.
-    Factors that may promote or prohibit customer-to-customer interactions in the contemporary financial services market and the extent to which these value co-creation activities may further contribute to wealth creation and a competitive advantage for traditional and non-traditional financial services providers.

This list is not exhaustive and contributions on any other aspects of financial services marketing that may advance understanding of the role of FinTech or challenges and opportunities impacting on marketing success of financial services in SSA are also welcomed.

References


Aker, J. C. & Mbiti, I. M. (2010), “Mobile phones and economic development in Africa”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 207-32.
Amankwah-Amoah, J., Boso, N. & Debrah, Y. A, (2018), “Africa rising in an emerging world: an international marketing perspective”, International Marketing Review, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 550-559.
Amankwah-Amoah, J., Egbetokun, A. & Osabutey, E. L. (2018), “Meeting the 21st century challenges of doing business in Africa”, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 131, pp. 336-338.
Asuming, P. O., Osei-Agyei, L. G. & Mohammed, J. I. (2019), “Financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa: Recent trends and determinants”, Journal of African Business, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 112-134.
Bongomin, G., Ntayi, J., Munene, J. & Malinga, C. (2018), “Mobile Money and Financial Inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Moderating Role of Social Networks”, Journal of African Business, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 361-384.
Chikalipah, S. (2017), “What determines financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa?”, African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 8-18.
Gosavi, A. (2018), “Can mobile money help firms mitigate the problem of access to finance in Eastern sub-Saharan Africa?”, Journal of African Business, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 343-360.
Mothobi, O. & Grzybowski, L. (2017), “Infrastructure deficiencies and adoption of mobile money in Sub-Saharan Africa”, Information Economics and Policy, Vol. 40, pp. 71-79.
PWC. (2017), “Is the rise of Pan-African banking the next big thing in Sub-Saharan Africa?”, available at:https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/economy/global-economy-watch/rise-of-pan-african-banking.html (accessed 1 September 2019).
Zins, A. & Weill, L. (2016), “The determinants of financial inclusion in Africa”, Review of Development Finance, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 46-57.

Submission information


Papers for this special issue may be submitted between June 1 and July 31, 2020.

Submissions should be submitted electronically, using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system.

Information and guidance on the format for submissions to the International Journal of Bank Marketing can be found at https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=IJBM