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Bank of Ghana commended for role in growth of mobile money sector

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Mr Godwin Kwami Tamakloe, Senior Manager, MTN Ghana, has commended the Bank of Ghana for its role in the growth of the Mobile Money (MoMo) sector.

He said the BoG’s introduction of new regulations in 2015 has helped to grow the mobile money sector with over GH¢2.2 billion roped into the banking sector via Mobile Money.

Mr Tamakloe said factors such as growth in mobile phone usage, limited access to traditional banking services, and unsatisfied business and customer needs, the introduction of the Electronic Money Issuers guidelines, and the Agents guidelines impacted growth in the sector.

He was speaking at the 5th Today Annual Lecture, in Accra on the topic: “The socio-economic impact of Mobile Money in Ghana”.

He said unlike the previous regulation; the branchless banking guidelines, which was mainly for banks, with organisations like the MTN acting as agents in rolling out the service, the new regulations in 2016, placed the service in the hands of any institution that met the requirements of the BoG.

“…and from 2015, we’ve seen tremendous increase in the use of the service up to date,” he said, adding that the regulator continues to understand the times and making the necessary changes to enhance use of the service, by introducing a new Bill to govern the sector.

Mr Tamakloe said the payment systems and services Bill, which is currently being gazette, once passed, will bring together the Financial Technology (FinTech) companies into the sector.

“We understand from all this that the regulator has been a very big player in enhancing the use and growth of mobile money in this country,” he said.

Mr Tamakloe said MoMo has contributed to create business opportunities for many, with MTN alone recording about 140,000 agent points, and 5000 field activation workers.

A new FinTech industry was also emerging as a result of the growth of MoMo which will also bring employment.

He said the float or money brought into the banking sector via MoMo, which amounted to some GH¢2.2 billion, could help some banks to meet the BoG’s new capital requirement of GH¢400 million.

“Without some of these monies, some of the banks will probably be facing the same problem that others are facing,” he said, adding that the use of MoMo was also building a new savings attitude, particularly among people in the informal sector such as ‘kayayos’ or head porters, who are now able to save on their phones.

Ghana’s economy has benefitted from MoMo through the payment of taxes on some service charges on agent transactions, as well as tax revenue from the corporate taxes paid by Electronic Money Issuers.

Mr Yaw Dabanka, E-Channels Support Manager at the National Investment Bank (NIB), said while the sector grew and attracted more users, there are also incidences of fraud in the sector, with fraudsters using various scenarios including scam credit notifications and request for reversal of funds, false promotion/loyalty prizes, goods delivery scams as well as MNO employee/merchant collusion.

He said the rise of fraud in the MoMo was aided by anonymity due to the use of false identification for registration of SIM cards, inadequate education or awareness among users, surge in mobile phone users, inadequate control measures and under-reporting of fraudulent activities.

Mr Dabanka urged the state to build more efficient and integrated identification systems, and players to increase fraud awareness campaigns, as well as reporting actual or attempted fraud cases.

“We also have to make things expensive for fraudsters,” he said, recommending that the IMEI numbers of phones last used to commit fraud should be identified and blacklisted across networks so that fraudsters will have to buy new phones each time they attempt to commit fraud.

Source: GNA

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