Mobile Money Service by telecoms giant, MTN Ghana, received great reviews from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) at a stakeholders’ forum in Accra, to mark the 5th anniversary of the cashless payment system.
Mr. Clarence Blay, Manager of Payment System Policy and Oversight at the central bank said at the forum held at the Golden Tulip Hotel Wednesday the theme for the anniversary –“Expanding cashless payments in Ghana through Mobile wallet transactions” – “ties in very well with Bank of Ghana’s payment system development strategy…and this clearly shows that your [MTN Ghana] strategy is actually in sync with Bank of Ghana’s overall payment system development strategy.”
Mr Blay said the central bank’s ”development strategy is to leverage the capabilities of Information and Communications Technology to transition the country from predominantly cash-based society to that of cash-light.”
He assured MTN Ghana that the Bank of Ghana would deliver on its mandate as a regulator to create the enabling environment for progress.
MTN Ghana’s Mobile Money Service was introduced five years ago to enable the unbanked population to transfer money to friends and loved ones using the mobile phone.
Currently, available data suggest only 20% of Ghanaians are banked.
MTN Ghana currently has over two million active Mobile Money customers with over 6.5 million transactions recorded every month, the telco revealed at the stakeholders forum.
Speaking on the many advantages of mobile money services, MTN Ghana’s Executive Director for Sales and Distribution, Eric Nsarkoh said the service reduces “the cost to the public purse of printing currency and the net effect is that they create a lot of businesses and economic growth”.
He reiterated MTN Ghana’s commitment to work towards forming more strategic alliances with different stakeholders in the cash management services.
He however noted existing challenges presented by limited investment in infrastructural development as well as restrictive regulations by the Bank of Ghana.
“We know and welcome the fact that the central bank is working on revisions to those regulations at the moment”, Mr Nsarkoh stated.
CEO of Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited, Kwame Owusu Boateng, noted the huge unbanked population presents an opportunity for telcos because more than 90% of Ghanaians owned a mobile phone.
“Network financial institutions and mobile money operators promise convenience, safety, security and affordability in the movement of cash across the country especially with the emergence of sophisticated crime”, Mr Owusu-Boateng observed.
He underscored the need to promote the mobile money service in a bid to promote a cashless economy.
Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited represented all savings and loans stakeholders at the forum.