Vodafone Ghana Finance Director speaks about Mobile Money at the 14th Ghana Banking Awards

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

The Finance Director at Vodafone Ghana Kenneth Gomado has allayed the fears entertained by most players within the country’s banking industry that the coming into full operation of mobile money in Ghana poses a serious threat to the current operation of commercial banks. According to him the banking sector must not view the delivery of mobile money services by telecommunication companies as a threat.

Speaking as a guest speaker at the just ended 14th edition of the Ghana Banking Awards, Mr. Gomado entreated players in the banking fraternity to see Mobile Money playing the complementary and not a competitive role in assisting the banks to cover a wider space within the unbanked system not comp. “Banks should know that mobile money is not here to take away from the pie but to create and enlarge it,” he said.

In a statement issued in Accra is it noted that extending financial services to majority of the unbanked has proved a daunting challenge for banking institutions in Ghana. Out of Ghana's population of 25.9 million, a whopping 18.13 million, representing 70 percent of the population, is unbanked.

Citing a World Bank report the statement revealed that only 7.77 million, representing 30 percent of Ghana's population has an account or multiple accounts with banks in the country.

It therefore noted further that the advent of technology and its correspondent mobile money platforms introduced by telecommunication companies is, however, contributing immensely in bridging the gap between the unbanked and financial services.

These notwithstanding, the posture of banks to the growing phenomenon have been everything but encouraging. Some of the comments that have emerged point to concern that telcos are fast becoming pseudo-banks and are performing functions that should remain the exclusive preserve of the traditional banks.

The Finance Director also gave a subtle hint that Vodafone has formalized plans to introduce Vodafone Cash, a mobile money platform, to Ghana.

Vodafone Cash would seek to draw inspiration from M-Pesa, Kenya’s revolutionary mobile money platform introduced by Vodafone in 2009. Currently M-Pesa has acquired nearly 17million active customers and as many as 186,000 agents worldwide. A total of more than US$1.1 billion worth of person-to-person transactions are made on a monthly basis.

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