Ghana: Reduce Mobile Money Transfer Charges - Operators Urged

By Kingsley Asare

Players in the electronic payment industry, especially mobile money operators have been urged to reduce their charges to enhance increase usage of the service and promote the sustainability of the industry.

First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari who stated this at the Momo stakeholders conference in Accra last Thursday, stressed that reducing mobile money charges would increase the uptake of the product.

The Momo stakeholders' conference was on the theme "A Decade of Driving Financial Inclusion and Socio-economic Development - The Impact of Momo."

Dr Opoku-Afari said the success of mobile money transactions in advancing financial inclusion could not be overemphasised, but there was still the scope for further expansion, stressing that "we need to focus on areas such as pricing of digital financial services to promote competitive practices to foster increase usage."

"For mobile money entities and Fintechs to be successful in an increasing competitive payment ecosystem, the industry needs to have a long-term view and be ready to build sustainable and affordable electronic payment solutions that meet the needs of diverse clientele in the society," he said.

Dr Opoku-Afari observed that for the electronic payment industry to be successful, electronic payment products should be affordable and sustainable, indicating that "sustainability requires leveraging on an enlarged network which supports payment service providers to build critical mass and achieve the desired economies of scale."

To this end, the First Deputy Governor emphasised that "collaborative efforts with the financial digital space to develop and share infrastructure should be encouraged," adding that "this could be the needed enabler to promote modernisation of the payment system."

Dr Opoku-Afari further also called players in the electronic payment industry in put in place a robust security system to minimise fraud and instil confidence in the use of electronic payment.

He stressed that counter and fraud measures and risk management practice should be effective and proportionate to each service provider's risk levels.

The General Manager of MTN Mobile Financial Services, Eli Hini in his remarks said eventually the cost of mobile money service would reduce.

"It is a matter of time, the cost of mobile money service will go down," he said.

Mr Hini said mobile money operators had to price their products to cover the high cost of infrastructure and agents commission.

He said the introduction of mobile money had helped to create jobs and open up other allied businesses in the electronic payment space.