MTN provides easy loan access to Ghana’s unbanked population
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
Alimatu Riyuta is an 18 years old head porter (Kayayei) plying her trade at one of Accra’s business district, Makola Market. Together with other girls of her age, Alimatu migrated from the Northern part of the country to the capital city in the Southern side of Ghana in search of a job.
The first two years as a porter carrying loads from one end of the busy Makola Market centre to the other for her clients for what can best be described as a cool Ghana Cedis for Alimatu was a dream come true. With a booming business at hand highly spirited Alimatu was able to make enough money that could take care of herself and also remit some back home through mobile money to her aging parents up North.
Plight of Ghana’s Unbanked Sector
Unfortunately, the situation changed drastically during the third year, things didn’t go that well with the porting business for Alimatu which then had adverse effect on her finances. At some point she needed money badly to get herself a new carrier pan to continue her business but to no avail.
She falls within the unbanked segment of Ghana’s population who are mainly find in the country’s informal sector and left to their fate in case of any unforeseen occurrences since they do not save with any of the commercial banks in town, let alone have a saving bank account.
MoMo Qwikloan Intervention
As a customer of MTN network and a subscriber to the MTN Mobile Money platform, Alimatu learnt from friends that she can access some money as a loan from her MTN mobile money platform without going any stress of going through loads of processes.
Indeed after following the process on the MTN Mobile Money platform on how to access Qwikloan, Alimatu finally heaved a sigh of relief as she was offered some amount of money as a loan to carry on her trade as a porter.
Currently Alimatu has bought herself a new carrier pan and so excited to be back at her job again, this time confident of transacting more businesses and paying off her loan on time.
With the introduction of the Qwikloans on the MTN Mobile Money platform, subscribers irrespective of your status after dialing *170# could at anytime and day qualify for a loan on the MTN platform. The new product put together by MTN Ghana in partnership with afb Ghana is to assist customers to enhance their businesses.
According to the General Manager for Mobile Services, Eli Hini, customers can access up to GHC 1,000 after using MTN Mobile Money and airtime more frequently and also committing to repay loans on time.
“With Qwikloans you do not have to go through the hustle to provide proof of collateral in order to access the loan. Qwikloan is an instant way to access a cash loan, at any time, for any purpose from your mobile phone,” he said.
MTN MoMo growth
Ms Riyatu’s experience reflects the difficulty many Ghanaian mobile subscribers in the informal sector go through each day to make a living for themselves due to not their inability to access loans from banks in the formal sector but also the difficulty in getting financial assistance from even love ones, family and friends to solve some financial needs.
Now like Alimatu, the majority of subscribers within Ghana’s unbanked population can now have easy access to loans within 24 hours provided they have active Mobile Money accounts and have subscribed to the MTN network service.
“Mobile Money is here to serve all of us, especially the unbanked population. The service has grown and today we have more than 8.2 million active subscriber base and merchants points of over 88,000 across the country. What this means is that customers can access MoMo service irrespective of their location,” say Eli Hini.