MTN Ghana holds 2nd Mobile Money forum in Accra
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
MTN Ghana held its second Mobile Money Stakeholders’ Forum in Accra this week, under the theme maximizing the potential of mobile money to drive financial inclusion in Ghana. This year’s forum comes at a time when the central bank of Ghana has introduced new guidelines to empower non banking institutions like MTN to participate more fully in the delivery of financial services to Ghanaians.
In his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Mr. Ebenezer Asante, revealed that Ghana’s financial inclusion has witnessed an improvement by 16 per cent from 2010 to 2014, noting that whereas access to bank rose 9 per cent and access to informal mechanisms fell by 60 per cent Mobile Money has had the greatest increase in access, rising from 7 per cent to 20 per cent within the period.
Mr Asante however indicated that Mobile Money not only presents an unparalleled opportunity to deliver a basic suite of modern financial services to the “unbanked” millions across the world but also extends financial services to the poor, helping them to improve productivity by increasing efficiencies, lowering the cost of transactions, improving security, generating new employment opportunities and creating a platform on which other businesses can grow.
According to him as the leader in Mobile Financial Services, MTN Ghana will continue to lead in innovation and growth of mobile money services in Ghana. “Since its launch in 2009, MTN Mobile Money has grown from a subscriber base of about 5,000 to about 4.8 million as at the end of July, 2015. The service now boasts of monthly transaction volumes in excess of 18.5 million. As I speak, there are over 19,500 MTN Mobile Money agents as compared to 967 bank branches and 1, 316 ATMs nationwide – this is according to the BoG 2014 Annual Report. So in terms of reach and access, Mobile Money provides a huge opportunity to deliver financial services at affordable costs to all segments of the Ghanaian society, he said.
The new MTN Ghana boss used the occasion to acknowledge the immense contribution of all key stakeholders especially the banks in making mobile money a success story in Ghana and reiterated MTN’s resolve to work closely with the banks to complement its efforts in driving financial inclusion in the country.
Financial inclusion has been defines simply as the delivery of financial service at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low income segment of society. The World Bank Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex, 2014) figures indicates that two billion people or 38 per cent of adults in the world do not use formal financial services, and 73 per cent of poor people are unbanked because of cost, travel distances and the often-burdensome requirements involved in opening a financial account. Three years ago the figure was 2.5 billion adults globally. This represents a 20 percent decrease in the number of people who have access to formal financial services.