Business News of Tuesday, 15 May 2018
With the launch of the much awaited mobile money interoperability, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Dr Ernest Addison, has called for the strengthening of the mobile money ecosystem.
Speaking at the launch of the mobile money interoperability on Thursday, Dr. Addison said, this would lead to further realising the full potential of this initiative.
He pressed for the banks and mobile money operators working together to develop new, innovative and efficient mobile-based products and services at reasonable costs to meet the demands of consumers.
Presently, the country is witnessing a shift to the new kind of retail banking system of mobile money, where large segments of the population, previously unbanked, are being absorbed into the financial services sector.
Figures of mobile money transactions have grown by about 177 percent between 2013 and March 2018, reaching total transactions of 312.93 million and valued at GHS 52.35 billion in March 2018. This contrasts with 48.24 million transactions valued at GHS 5.91 billion in March 2015.
Currently, there are 25.3 million mobile money accounts, significantly up from 8.20 million in the same comparative periods.
“This clearly presents a huge opportunity to bring most of these economically active people into the formal economy; and presents a huge potential for domestic revenue mobilization in Ghana. Clearly, this is the way to go to support the ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ agenda,” Dr. Addison said.
This system has a number of advantages, which include reduction in the cost of initiating transactions across networks, the removal of third party payment providers to initiate transfers across networks and allow for convenience and security in sending and receiving money, irrespective of the network.
With the implementation of interoperability, it is expected that banks can leverage on the existing 143,418 mobile money agents to reach out to the unbanked.
“There are enormous opportunities for banks to leverage on the over 25 million existing mobile money accounts to expand the scope and appeal of electronic payments, to offer more innovative payment products that provide convenience, simplicity, speed at minimal transaction costs as well as offer efficient means of delivering financial services even in the remote areas,” Dr. Addison stated.
He highlighted the need to enhance consumer confidence in the reliability of mobile networks, safety and security of transfers for mobile payments to thrive as means of access to financial services.
“Industry players must view mobile money interoperability as an open, vibrant and accessible eco-system that will help drive performance and realization of the objectives of financial inclusiveness.”