Ecobank launches mobile money treasury bill product
The Ecobank TBill4All is a self-service product that allows Ghanaians to invest in 91-day and 182-day Treasury bills using the MTN mobile money platform.
It is the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa and aimed to encourage savings and investments as well as ensure financial inclusion.
MTN mobile money wallet holders could access the service via short code *770# and can invest as little as GH¢5 in treasury bills as many times as they wish.
They are also allowed to discount their investment any time ahead of the maturity date.
In a speech read on his behalf, Ecobank Group Executive for Consumer Banking, Patrick Akinwuntan said the service was designed to make investment in TBills easier and bring it closer to the public.
“The product removes the perception that Treasury Bills is an elitist product and positions it as an investment vehicle for all. As a self-service platform, subscribers have absolute control of their transactions,” he said.
He said TBill4All would encourage the culture of savings and wealth creation in Ghana and spur socio-economic growth through sustained interest and participation.
Mr Akinwuntan said MTN mobile money was chosen as a partner for the historic collaboration because of its widest coverage and the large number of subscribers as the plan is to reach the majority of Ghanaians.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Mr Ebenezer Asante lauded the collaboration, saying it would boost savings and investment.
“This will not only boost financial inclusion but also boost the savings and wealth creation culture and also push down lending rates and provide a domestic pool of cash for government to fall on for national development instead of going to borrow from external sources,” he said.
He assured MTN mobile money customers that a purchase of TBill4all will be treated as an investment and not a cashout so there will be no service charges.
He commended the industry regulators, Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission, for creating a conducive environment for the private sector to drive financial inclusion through such innovative collaborations.
In a speech read on his behalf, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Millison Narh also commended Ecobank for staying close to their customers and coming up with such an innovation.
He said TBill4All is an example of how effective and innovative collaboration between mobile money and traditional banks will boost financial inclusion and drive the cashless society agenda under for new Central Bank roadmap.
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dr Adu Anane Antwi commended the two institutions for the initiative to encourage investment and financial inclusion for all.
The service will also be available on Ecobank internet banking, Ecobank Mobile App and eventually on all networks of the group to ensure greater financial inclusion across the continent.