Banks, Telcos urged to collaborate to capture the unbanked

Business News of Sunday, 21 August 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

2016-08-21

Nana Otuo AcheampongNana Otuo Acheampong, Banking Consultant

Banking Consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong is encouraging greater collaboration between banks and telecommunication companies offering mobile money services and reduce the unbanked population in Ghana.

According to him, this will help banks serve customers in remote areas without having to set up physical branches which increase their costs of operations.

Speaking to Citi Business News, the Banking consultant and Head of the Osei Tutu II Centre for Executive Education and Research said, the telcos are helping in deepening financial inclusion in Ghana, hence his call.

“What the banks should be looking at is where are the mobile money operators of the Telcos reaching? They are reaching areas that the traditional banks’ brick and mortal branches cannot reach, so they should be welcomed with open arms by the banks as they are helping in deepening the financial inclusion process in Ghana.”

Nana Otuo Acheampong argued that “This is what has allowed people to send money to the remotest parts of Ghana in real time as long as there is an agent who will receive the funds and give the person cash.” The Bank of Ghana has since 2015, issued two new guidelines to govern the mobile money industry in a way that gives Telcos some level of autonomy to run their mobile money platforms.

The guidelines which are the E-Money Issuer (EMI) Guidelines and the Agent Guidelines according to the central bank, forms part of the roadmap towards a cashless society.

The new guidelines allows Telcos to get the license directly from the regulator and go to the banks for collaboration unlike the previous which was vice visa. Though some banks are already partnering Telcos in mobile money, others are still apprehensive of the disruption the telcos threaten to bring into the industry.

Telcos’ mobile money platforms are now going to become separate financial institutions and offer more flexible financial packages to a larger number of Ghanaians, who would not have to necessarily go to the bank to access banking services.

But what we know is that in all these, the banks will still be the institutions where all moniess moving on the mobile money platforms would be deposited.

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