By Eunice Hilda Ampomah/Angelina Kwabi, GNA
Accra, July 11, GNA – MTN Ghana on Thursday engaged stakeholders in the financial sector to discuss better ways to use Mobile Money (MoMo) services to drive financial inclusion and socio-economic development.
The stakeholders’ conference on the theme, “A Decade of Driving Financial Inclusion and Socio-economic Development-The Impact of MoMo” was part of the activities organised by MTN to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its MoMo transaction.
Mr Eli Hini, the General Manager of Mobile Money Limited, MTN Ghana, said financial inclusion was important to formalise the economy.
Key enablers of financial inclusion, he said, included allowing access to agent network including presence, visibility, liquidity, and convenience of MoMo services to customers.
Policies on branchless banking guidelines, E-Money Issuer, Payment Systems and Services should be enhanced to promote financial inclusion, he reiterated.
Mr Hini said with the introduction of MoMo, growth of its agents’ network across the country had created an additional source of revenue and job opportunities for thousands of the citizenry.
Speaking on the contribution of MoMo to the economy, he noted that, “The impact of MoMo on many sectors of the economy has now become a channel for financial institutions to disburse their loans because it is cheaper, faster and more convenient.”
In the Agricultural Sector, especially the cocoa value chain, the General Manager said, it enabled cocoa farmers to sell their beans and instantly get paid through MoMo, which reduced challenges associated with underpayment of farmers and dishonesty on the part of purchasing clerks.
He suggested that the merchant payment system be digitalised to enable buyers pay retailers and vendors with MoMo and urged government to fast track the National Identification (ID) process to provide the nation with a centralised ID system to make it easy for companies to track and reach out to customers.
“The Government-to-People and People-to Government payment system should be made with MoMo to enable one pay for service rendered by the other with MoMo,” he added.
Mr Maxwell Opoku Afari, the first Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), said the number of mobile money accounts used in the country had reached 32.6 million as at December 2018 compared to 3.8 million in December 2012.
To enhance regulatory environment for MoMo and other similar innovations within the financial ecosystem, he said the BoG reviewed the Electronic Money Issuers Guidelines (2015) and the Payment Systems (Act 662) which culminated in a new regulatory framework for the payment systems.
Mr Afari said the revolution of mobile money transactions in the economy had instigated a paradigm shift to a new kind of retail banking system where large segments of the unbanked populace were being absorbed into the financial services sector.
“We need to focus on areas such as pricing of digital financial services to promote competitive practices to foster increase usage,” he said.
Mr Sampson Akligah, the Director of Financial Sector Division of the Ministry of Finance, said it was necessary for telecommunication companies to pay attention to transaction costs and enhance their collaboration with financial institutions if the country wanted to promote financial inclusion.
He said government was investing much resources to promote a cash-lite society with stakeholders such as the ARP Apex Bank to promote cash-lite economy with MoMo even at remote areas.
He explained that microfinance companies charged high interests because they needed money to invest in technology, therefore, government was working to support them to enable them to reduce their interest rates.
He disclosed that the Ghana Revenue Authority was working to introduce a system to enable the citizenry pay taxes with MoMo.