GHANA:MTN moves to safe-guard mobile money sector

MTN Ghana has reaffirmed its commitment of safe guarding the Mobile Money industry in order to ensure safe electronic payment systems in Ghana’s financial sector.

The Mobile Money economy in Ghana is growing at a rapid pace and by 2016 MTN recorded about 485 million mobile money transactions.

The Senior Manager, Sustainability and Social Impact, MTN Mrs. Georgina Asare- Fiagbenu, disclosed this during Mobile Money Stakeholders Conference in Accra.

According to her, the workshop was an integral part of the Mobile Money Month activities which is aimed at gaining insight into the mobile money industry from critical industry players.

This she explained further, that the Mobile Money Month is an annual campaign with a month long series of activities organised in August to promote and sensitize the public on the benefits of a cashlite society

According to her, the company is working assiduously to rope in a greater percent of Ghanaians on the mobile money platform at the end of the year in line with the Bank of Ghana’s national policy for a cashlite economy.”

It is in this regard, MTN is engaging all stakeholders to bring out ideas and solutions to help steer and navigate through the challenges that hinder the adoption of mobile payments in the country.

“We believe that the theme for this stakeholders Conference,: “Addressing Barriers to Mobile Money Payment Adoption in Ghana’’, bares it all; we engaging for solutions to improve mobile payments and service in the country”, she emphasized.
The General Manager, Mobile Financial Service, MTN, Mr Eli Hini, stated that the mobile financial service is gradually taking a centre stage in the financial banking sector and this is making banking more convenient.
He said the time has come for Ghanaians to move from cash into a cashless society, where all business transactions would be done through mobile money.

Mr Hini disclosed that, the introduction of mobile money service in 2009 had a vision of making financial transactions fast, simple, convenient, secure and affordable through the use of mobile phones.
He noted that, in addressing the barriers there is the need to put in place regulations, as well as government support and digital address systems, customer education, security, technology merchant acceptance, partnership as well as connectivity.
Mr Hini said “mobile money would deliver value for all of us, but putting in the right processes in place would lead us to the point of addressing all the barriers associated with the payment adoption.

According to him, MTN has also taken a giant step by collaborating with the e-Crime Bureau , the media and the security personnel across the country in a series of workshops to support the fight against Mobile Money fraud and related cyber-crime issues.
Dr Settor Amediku, Head of Payments, Bank of Ghana, said some of the challenges facing the mobile money industry include network failures, agent liquidity or float.

“Electronic money issuers, agents, guidelines, branchless banking guidelines, as well as the passage of the Payment Systems and Services Bill 2017, would help address the barriers to mobile money payment adoption”, he said.

Dr Amediku said in addressing the barriers to mobile money, regulators can provide support by ensuring the enforcement of market conduct and customer protection regulation, developing agents’ registry assuring consumers of protection and monitoring of float accounts, and providing enabling regulatory environment.

Mr Derrydean Dadzie, Chief Executive Officer of DreamOval, said mobile money is the most cost effective way to drive financial inclusion and with mobile money, Ghana would be able to attain 70 percent financial inclusion by 2020.

Stressing that, to achieve a cashlite society or address the barriers to mobile money, it is important to introduce the cash withdrawal tax, to make it expensive to withdraw cash and expensive to carry money, adding that public education, is needed in this effort.
According to him, mobile money is not in competition with the banks but rather promoting financial inclusion.
He entreated mobile money operators to reduce the perceived high cost of mobile money transactions, standardise some of the operational models and address the listed areas of concern.

By : Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/