With the coming into force of Ghana’s new mobile money regulations, there is no doubt that policymakers have come to appreciate the importance of Mobile money in driving financial inclusion particularly with the unbanked in both the informal and rural settings.
According to the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, CGAP December 2015 report, Ghana’s positive progress on mobile money is expected to grow exponentially. On the use of mobile financial services in Ghana and Rwanda, the report states that just about 17 percent of Ghanaians had mobile money accounts however within just a year the number doubled.
According to CGAP, Ghana is “the most digital financial services-ready country in Africa” when it comes to the key elements required for successful adoption; 92 percent of adults have the required identification to open an account and 91 percent of Ghanaians already own a mobile phone (compared to only 74% and 72% in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively).
The report also pointed out Ghana’s mobile money users are better-off than their African peers; with 60 percent of the country’s active mobile money account holders living in urban areas, and only 19 percent living on less than US$2.50 per day compared to 72 percent in Rwanda.
The report disclosed that the use of mobile money by digitizing existing cash payments such as insurance premiums, savings, or wages would make Ghana one of the world’s most innovative and successful mobile money markets in the world.
Although mobile money is still at a nascent stage in Ghana, few players have helped stir in the interest; Tigo Cash is a one great example.
Among all the mobile operators for instance, Tigo Cash is the only operator that does ‘Anyone to Anyone’ meaning a Tigo Cash users can transfer money from their wallet to anyone irrespective of the network operator.
“We have made it easy for many Ghanaians especially those in rural communities to send and receive money, save and pay for goods and services. Our services are now being used by over 3 million customers, many of them include women who are petty traders”, says the Head of Mobile Financial Service for Tigo Ghana, Kwame Oppong.
He noted that a key factor in Tigo Cash’s drive for financial inclusion, was its strategic partnerships with well-known organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and International Finance Corporation (IFC).
He explained through such partnerships, Tigo Cash has developed innovative products and services for cocoa and rice farmers and Small to Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) and provided low interest loans to support and empower Tigo Cash female agents.
Currently, Tigo Cash boasts of over 7,000 agents across the country providing a convenient, safe and reliable transaction.