GHANA:Operators want cap on global money transfers reviewed

Some players operating in the mobile money sector are calling on the Bank of Ghana to review the limit of transactions that is currently permitted on remittances done via mobile money.

They believe such a move will promote inter-regional trading activities.

According to the proponents, the current limit of 500 dollars per transaction is low and restricts business growth and trading activities within the West African Region.

They further argue that majority of business transactions within the sub region are done via mobile money payments and therefore believe that in order for such trade to be enhanced, the Bank of Ghana must review the limit.

According to the World Bank, in 2017, 2.2 billion dollars flowed into Ghana, up 4.3% compared to 2016 which makes the country the fifth largest recipient of remittances in Africa.

The inflows came mainly from the United States with 585 million dollars, Nigeria with 395 million dollars, the United Kingdom with 286 million dollars, Italy with 145 million dollars and Germany with 115 million dollars.

Also according to the World Bank, on global data from remittance costs, the global average recorded decreased from 7.13 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to 6.99 percent in second quarter of 2018.

This represented a year on year decrease compared to the second quarter of 2017, when the figure was recorded at 7.32 percent.

In the second quarter of 2018, the cheapest way for funding a remittance transaction was mobile money at 4.38 percent.

The average cost when using a debit/credit card was 5.82 percent.

Speaking to Citi Business News on the matter, General Manager for Mobile Financial Services at MTN, Eli Hinni said trade between Ghana and its neighbouring countries will be affected if the BoG fails to review some of its regulations.

“There is the need to look at the limit of transactions that are permitted on the current remittance platform such that the limit would enable trading because today the limits are very low, 500 dollars per transaction is really for individual activity and even for individual activity these days we find it small,” he stated.

He added, “So that’s an area that we believe that the regulator can look at and see how we can dialogue around improving that. So it is time we begin to have these conversations again and see how we can make it work”.