Adnan Adams Mohammed
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has reported that mobile money transactions in value has shot up two-folds in the first ten (10) months of the year as compared to the values of the last year.
The value increased by more than 51 percent to record GH¢58 billion from January to October relative to the GH¢28.4 billion recorded in the same period last year.
Cumulatively, the number of mobile money transactions increased to 279 million, from 188 million recorded in the same period last year. This is a boost for cashless economy efforts being pursued by successive government.
“Digital transactions and payments, especially on mobile money transactions and the Ghana Inter-bank and Payment Settlement System (GhIPSS) Instant Pay was seeing significant growth,” Dr Ernest Addison said at the 2020 annual dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Ghana on the theme “Resilience in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and outlook for the sector.” Adding that, “the GhIPSS Instant Pay recorded exponential growth in both volumes and values as real time electronic transfers between banks increased significantly.”
Among others, the Governor attributed the growing increase in the mobile money transaction to the digital products being developed by the banks and telecommunication companies, the financial inclusion strategies being pursued by the government and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Addison said COVID-19 had pushed the frontier towards financial technology and the observations made by the BoG indicated that banks had already taken up the challenge to digitise their financial services and product offerings.
“At the onset of the pandemic, the Bank introduced measures to enhance mobile money transactions and increased public education on mobile money and other electronic money fraud,” he said.
Dr Addison disclosed that since the introduction of the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987), which mandated BoG to license and supervise Financial Technology (FinTech) companies, there had been significant interest from both local and international entities in securing Payment Service Provider licences to operate in Ghana.
He said BoG had so far issued eight payment service providers’ licenses, indicating that “This includes three in the electronic money issuer category, four in the Enhanced Payment Service provider category and one in the Standard Payment Service Provider Category.”
Dr Addison stressed that in line with provisions in the Payment Systems and Services Act 2019 (Act 987), the Payment Systems Advisory Committee was established to advise the bank on regulations, oversight, operational and technical issues of payment, as well as clearing and settlement systems.
“In May 2020, the bank announced the establishment of the Fintech and Innovation Office responsible for financial technology and payment innovations. The Office is expected to drive the digitisation agenda of the Bank, and is responsible for licensing and oversight of dedicated electronic money issuers (mobile money operators), and payment service providers,” he said.