They explained that mobile wallets are rather enhancements to their operations because they help in the mobilisation of cash for savings and investments in the various institutions.
The Board Chairman of the Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GHAMC), Mr Collins Amponsah-Mensah, told the Graphic Business on October 4, that although the association was yet to conduct a study on the issue, it had not received reports from members to the effect that mobile money was affecting the amount of deposits mobilised.
“Once mobile money is more a remittance platform, we do not compete really much and so, currently, I have not seen too much of a competition in what we do,” he said.
While admitting that some mobile money agents currently engaged in credit disbursement, Mr Amponsah-Mensah, who is also a council member of the Ghana Micro Finance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN), noted that those credits were “not on the high side to be able to influence the operations of microfinance institutions”.
Like the banks, Mr Amposah said, some members of the association had even added MOMO services to the list of services and that had helped in widening their customer base.
Started around 2009, MOMO has taken financial intermediation by storm by making it easier for persons in all corners of the country to send and receive money.
The service is currently operated by four of the telecommunication companies operating in the country.
Data from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) showed that the number of registered mobile money customers as of December 2016 was 19.7 million, representing an annual growth of 50.4 per cent.
The number of active mobile money customers also increased by 70.8 per cent to 8.3 million in December 2016.
In terms of value, the data showed that mobile money transactions ended last year at GH¢78.5 billion. This represented a 121.5 per cent growth over the 2015 position.
It showed further that the total float balance of GH¢1.3 billion as of December 2016 reflected a growth of 129.5 per cent over the 2015 float balance of GH¢548 million.
On the other hand, data on the operations of MFIs show an impressive performance, underpinned by strong patronage of the services of the companies.
As of December last year, statistics from the BoG indicated that there were 564 MFIs, made up of 71 money lending companies, 11 financial non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and 482 microfinance companies.
It showed that the sector recorded a marginal growth of 1.9 per cent in total assets to GH¢1.3 billion in 2016 compared with a growth of 30.3 per cent in 2015.
Loans and advances and investments, however, recorded negative growth rates of 2.9 per cent and 60.2 per cent respectively.
Cash and bank balances grew by 7.4 per cent to GH¢294.6 million.
The data showed that MFls controlled 1.3 per cent of total assets in the financial sector in 2016 compared with 1.7 per cent in 2015.