With the wide-spread use of mobile phone devices, the introduction of Mobile Money (MoMo) in Ghana since 2009 has had quite a significant impact on the Ghanaian economy by reducing unemployment to some extent, developing the payment ecosystem, providing a means of savings for people without access to banks, timely completion of financial transactions, among others.
More than a decade down the line and the importance of mobile money to the economy cannot be underrated especially during this pandemic where the risk of fomite transmissions through paper money can be reduced by using cashless payment systems.
In 2020 alone, the volume of mobile money transactions was worth ¢571.8 billion according to the Deputy Bank of Ghana (BoG) Governor, Elsie Awadzi, thus surpassing all other payment platforms.
The telecommunication companies have mobile money services offered at a little fee per transaction, yet mobile money merchants who aim to maximize their profits have made it costly by introducing unapproved charges.
They do not comply with the rules of transaction stated by the telephone companies and thereby, discouraging consumer patronage to some extent. This is somewhat due to the poor education of the customer base and the laxity of telcos in monitoring the actions of merchants and enforcing compliance.
Wow! It’s free. Who would’ve imagined a charge-free mobile money transaction? I transferred a huge sum of money from my Vodafone Cash (VF Cash) wallet and it incurred no charges. Interestingly, this is a cross-network transaction that I have always known to incur higher transaction rates than transactions on the same network.
Kudos to the Government for the Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) initiative and to Vodafone Ghana for making all VF Cash transfers including those across the MMI platform free.
This probably is a marketing strategy aimed at increasing the patronage of VF- Cash and thus, the customer base of Vodafone Ghana at large but ruminating on this makes me appreciate the reduction in financial burden on customers too.
It’s already a year and counting since Vodafone Ghana waived charges on mobile money transfers to all networks yet with the profit motive of most businesses, other networks still charge fees. Other telcos should learn, emulate and have Vodafone’s innovation continued even post-Covid. Why?
Aside from drastically reducing the financial burden on customers, and frustrating hard cash transactions within the pandemic, waiving charges on mobile money transactions will tend to make the service more appealing to the ordinary Ghanaian and effect a rise in patronage, and impacting the incidence of robberies and loss of one’s money.
As unsafe as our communities and roads can be to move cash, mobile money provides a form of insurance to patrons since they do not have to worry about the risk of attacks by armed men on our highways. In cases of such attacks where mobile devices are lost, one could simply have their SIM cards replaced at almost no cost with their e-cash intact after meeting the requirements.
As the world migrates to a digital economy, telecommunications companies must change their perspective from mobile money being a means of convenience to it being a necessary luxury, and hence, mobile money charges particularly on person to person (P2P) transactions should be phased out, or drastically reduced and applied increasingly on Person to Business (P2B), and Business to Business (B2B) transactions. It is worth noting that MTN has zero charges for transactions below ¢100 However, more can be done.
Telecommunication companies like other businesses are inclined to profit-making as they owe financial obligations to shareholders, employees, and the state. This could render phasing out charges on transactions an impossible feat but largely compensated for by considering how much revenue these telcos could be losing through the illegal practices of rogue merchants and developing robust measures to curb the illegality.
That is not to disprove the loss of some revenue but as difficult as it might seem to sacrifice some percentage of the revenue generated from mobile money transactions, we learn from
Vodafone that it is possible, and is a step in the right direction to reduce cash in circulation to some extent. Mobile money charges on cash withdrawals could have the rates revised to champion the course of a cash-lite economy.
I believe this initiative can be taken up by the Government through the Bank of Ghana in the quest to develop a cash-lite economy, where a more effective and efficient monetary management of the economy can be done.
Also, a proper national identification system aiding the registration of SIM cards would help reduce the incidence of money laundering through mobile money services since clients are known through the National Identification System.
Telecommunication companies should develop robust measures in monitoring their merchants, thus, discouraging the dubious practices that their merchants use in ripping customers off. This would make the mobile money service appealing to many.
Also, government and its regulatory agencies, particularly the BoG, National Communications Authority (NCA), Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), etc. should force the hands of these telecommunication companies to work towards zero charges on mobile money transfers to champion the digital economy dream.
You can contact the writer via email: email@example.com
- ‘I called my wife to bid her farewell when my vehicle was swept away’ – Flood survivor
- Medikal remanded in prison custody for 5 days
- Ban on ‘aboboyaa’ on Accra highways to take effect from Nov. 1 – Henry Quartey
- ‘Side-chicks’ are ‘helpers’ who spice up marriages, I demanded my husband gets one – Joy FM Listener
- Photos: Medikal’s day in court
- ACP Agordzo’s fight to revoke his interdiction as police officer suffers another court adjournment
- John Boadu blames current employment challenges on NDC, Sammy Gyamfi disagrees
- Ga Mantse appeals to Akufo-Addo for support to change Greater Accra to Ga-Adangbe Region
- I’m excited there’s Ga Mantse in my time as president – Akufo-Addo
- Lawyers reject compensation packages for victims of Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-election
Remain calm, support Medikal with prayers – Management
Arrogance of power has taken over Akufo-Addo – Sammy Gyamfi
Today’s front pages: Saturday, October 23, 2021
Ex-cop killed relatives and boyfriend for insurance cash
Livestream: Newsfile discusses politics of abandoned projects, and NCA conditions
Guinness records impressive half-year 2021 results; revenue up 31% to ¢285m
Trades Ministry debunks claims 125-acre Komenda sugarcane farm was sold to ‘akpeteshie’ distillers
BoG in process of developing directive to promote access to finance for PWDAS
Sunon Asogli donates medical equipment to Kpone Polyclinic
NIA to suspend services at 34 registration centres from Oct. 25 to Nov. 2
We can’t fight corruption until we take a second look at political funding – Prof Gyampo
Celebrated classical conductor, Bernard Haitink dies at 92
Adele returns to UK number one with huge figures for Easy On Me
Trafficked to Europe for sex: A survivor’s escape story
Ejisuman SHS teachers demonstrate against traditional rulers over sale of school lands