A new World Bank study on financial inclusion has found out that the number of Ghanaian adults with active mobile money accounts has doubled in the past year, and now stands at 17 percent of the adult population.
The study conducted by the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) said Ghana’s progress on mobile money is commendable, especially as the service was introduced barely half a decade ago.
CGAP expects Ghana’s positive progress to continue, especially since new Mobile Money regulations were passed in July 2015 which have awakened policymakers of the critical role that Mobile Money plays in driving financial inclusion.
The report published last week includes findings from a nation-wide Financial Inclusion Survey (FII) and compares Ghana to its African peers – including Kenya and Tanzania, the two most successful Mobile Money markets in the world.
According to CGAP Ghana is “the most digital financial services-ready country in Africa” when it comes to the key elements required for successful adoption: 92% of adults have the required ID necessary to open an account and 91% of Ghanaians already own a mobile phone (compared to only 74% and 72% in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively).
The report further identified that Ghana’s Mobile Money users are better-off than their African peers; with 60 percent of the country’s active Mobile Money account holders living in urban areas, and only 19 percent living on less than US$2.50 per day compared to 72 percent in Rwanda.
Mobile Money Momentum
The patronage of mobile money continues to gain momentum, as for the third year running the value of transactions has seen an astronomical jump — from GHC2.4billion as at 2013 to about GH<tll.6billion in 2014, according to industry data.
The value of mobile money transactions when put into perspective is more than a third of the total deposit liabilities of the 28 banks as at the end of last year, and shows the vital role telecom companies are playing to advance the central bank’s cashlite economy agenda – and also ensure that the push for more financial inclusion is brought into the hands of millions of Ghanaians.
Currently, four of the six mobile telcos – MTN, Airtel, Tigo and Vodafone – are involved in the mobile money business, which has grown from a transaction value of GHC171million in 2012 to the multi-billion cedi sector it is now.
Other companies such as Afric Xpress and e-Transact Ghana are also riding on the back of mobile phone popularity with the country’s estimated 26-million population, offering various services which allow people to remit money to relatives and friends through the device.
The growth of the transactions’ value over the years corresponds with a similar trend in the volume of transactions. So far, the number of transactions has almost quadrupled since 2012: from 30 million to about 106.4 million in 2014.