Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
GHANA IS currently the fastest growing mobile money market in Africa because of her mobile money interoperability (MMI).
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who disclosed this at a public lecture Tuesday in Accra, said banks were also responding to the competition for the unbanked from the mobile money service providers.
He said the total value of mobile money transactions in 2020 was GH¢570 billion ($100 billion) while six years ago, it was GH¢35 billion.
“Next month, all banks in Ghana will launch a bankwide MoMo wallet which will be available to customers and non-customers through a mobile App. It is similar to other mobile money Apps from Vodafone, Airtel TiGo and MTN. You will be able to move money from any bank or MoMo account into this wallet and you can also generate your personal QR Code from this bankwide app.
“I think this will bring about a healthy competition between the mobile money service providers and the banks which should result in lower charges for money transfers,” Dr Bawumia highlighted.
According to him, the new system Government has put in place has made it easy for to open a bank account.
“With a few banks for example, all prospective bank customers can open an account remotely through their mobile phones without visiting a branch or filling out forms. It is simple, fast, and easy to use, and clients need only a valid national ID card and no additional documentation to open an instant account. In addition, since the account opening process is USSD based (i.e. a service that allows people without a smart phone or data or internet connection to use mobile banking through a code).
“As stated earlier, in the informal sector, which is dominated by cash payments, most merchants are reluctant to accept other forms of payment for three main reasons – first is the high cost of POS (point of sale devices), second is the high processing fees (1%-3%) for electronic payments; and third, the lag between when actual purchases are made and when merchants receive the actual payments.
“To address these challenges, we have recently rolled out a Universal QR CODE payments system which allows all merchants and service providers as well as individuals to receive payments instantly on their phone as customers scan their QR CODE or dial a USSD code for “yam” phones. The Universal QR CODE is the way to go for most merchants because all they need is a mobile phone. Ghana is the first country that I know of in Africa to implement a Universal QR Code payment system that accommodates both bank accounts and mobile wallets.
“With the launch of the bankwide mobile wallet next month, every user will be able to generate a personal QR Code which can be used to transfer or receive money to or from individuals or merchants. If every merchant and every individual generates their own QR Code, then Ghana will truly enter a world of cashless payments. This functionality would be available from December this year,” he stated.
BY Samuel Boadi