MoMo Transactions Exceeds All Payment Platforms – Bank of Ghana

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A total of GH¢571.8 billion (US$99.67 billion) worth of mobile money transactions happened within the year 2020 alone, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi has revealed. This reaffirms the statue of MoMo because the biggest platform for payments in Ghana after cash and well before cheques and every one the othet electronic payments platforms introduced in Ghana over the past few years, most of them by the BoG’s dedicated subsidiary, the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement Systems Limited.

Introduced into Ghana a decade ago by MTN Ghana following its spectacular market acceptance in East Africa , patronage of MoMo has grown in leaps and bounds but MTN, enjoying first mover benefits, has retained its dominant market share of over 90 percent despite the introduction of interconnectivity between its network and people of its two competitors – Airtel Cash and Vodafone Cash respectively.

The product’s attraction to customers has been further enhanced by the linking of their mobile wallets to their bank accounts, another innovation facilitated by GhIPSS in 2018.

So far MoMo service providers have managed to convince government to not implement its desire to tax Momo transactions separately from the tax the dedicated service providers – subsidiaries of mobile telephony networks established as separate companies by law and controlled by the BoG instead of by the National Communications Authority which regulates their respective telecoms parent companies – already pay.

Over the years, Mrs Addo Awadzi noted, “electronic money has emerged and grown exponentially not only in Ghana but all-over West Africa and across the whole region, paving the way for a good sort of digital financial services including digital savings, credit, investment, microinsurance, informal sector pension products, and inward international remittance, bill payments, merchant payments, health care, and government social interventions including COVID-19 relief cash transfers”.

Today, she added, “there are some 17.5 million active mobile money accounts in Ghana with GH¢ 571.8 billion (US$ 99.67 billion) in mobile money transactions in 2020 alone, representing 84 percent growth from the worth recorded in 2019, made possible with the assistance of some 344,000 active mobile money agents as of December 2020”.

She noted that Ghana’s regulatory framework for digital financial services has evolved over the last 20 years and has supported the orderly development of the robust ecosystem we see today.

This has persuaded the BoG to intensify its regulation of the industry. Key here has been its regulation of MoMo which may only be delivered by dedicated subsidiaries of telecom companies; while the latter remain under the regulatory purview of the National Communications Authority, the dedicated subsidiaries involved in financial transactions by providing payments platforms are regulated by the financial institution .

To this end the BoG last week issued an inventory of the electronic money issuers and non-bank digital payments platforms which it’s licensed to work .

However, this has created a furore of its own since MTN Ghana is conspicuously missing from this list depite being clearly the most important and most publicly visible of this genre. it’s still unclear if this was simply an error or if there are unresolved regulatory issues between the 2 , as unlikely as this might seem; afterall MTN MoMo activities have continued unabated and unchallenged since the discharge by gthe BoG of its listr of licensed electronic money issuers and digital payment platforms.

The BoG’s list comprises five electronic money issuers and 21 payment service providers. However, MTN Ghana’s inevitable inclusion will increase the amount by one.

The list follows the passage of the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987) in accordance with the licensing application pack for payment service providers.

The Act amended and consolidated the laws concerning payment systems, payment services and to manage institutions that keep it up payment service and electronic money business and to supply for related matters.

Below is that the full list of approved firms.

Dedicated electronic money issuers
Airtel Mobile Commerce (Ghana) Limited
GCB G-Money
Yup Ghana Limited
Vodafone Mobile Financial Services Limited
Zeepay Ghana Limited
Payment service providers
AppsNmobile Solutions Limited
Bsystems Limited
Cellulant Ghana Limited
Dreamoval Limited
Emergent Payments Ghana Limited
Etranzact Limited
ExpressPay Ghana Limited
Fast Pace Transfer Limited
Global Accelerex Ghana Ltd
Halges Financial Technologies Limited
Hubtel Limited
IT Consortium Limited
MFS Ghana Limited
Moolre Limited
Nfortics Ghana Limited
Nsano Limited
PaySwitch Ghana Limited
Transsnet Payments Ghana Limited
Techfin Innovations Ltd
ZappGhana Limited
Titan Payment Systems