16 May 2018
An active member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) network, Bank of Ghana (BoG) launched the country’s first Mobile Money Interoperability System through the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhlPSS).
The system was launched by Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Alhaji Mahamoud Bawumia on 10 May, 2018 and is aimed at eliminating the complexities and inconveniences associated with transfers across the various mobile money networks in the country. These challenges include difficulties in opening bank accounts, high costs in maintaining a bank account relative to customers’ income levels, and financial literacy.
The use of mobile money has witnessed exponential growth over the past 9 years; with a year on year increase in the number of mobile money accounts as well as the volumes and value of mobile money transactions. According to statistics from BoG, the total number of active mobile money accounts increased from 8.3 million in 2016 to 11.11 million in 2017. This places Ghana on the global stage as one of the countries making headway in mobile money acceptability and usage.
To further create convenience, and rope in mobile money users into the financial ecosystem, the government initiated a move to create interoperability among the various mobile money operators. Considering the enormous growth in the mobile money sector, the move to create interoperability was a step in the right direction. With the launch of the Mobile Money Interoperability System, customers are able to transfer funds from one mobile money wallet to another wallet across networks.
Interoperability reduces the cost of initiating transactions across networks; as customers will no longer need the services of a third party payment provider to initiate transfers across networks. Customers will be able to send and receive money directly to and from each other irrespective of the network they are on; allowing them more convenience and security.
The system will further deepen financial inclusion and promote cashless transaction in Ghana. It will also serve as a viable vehicle for financial intermediation; businesses and individuals can accept mobile money from other network users seamlessly.