Total value of Mobile money transactions in Ghana continues to rise. It increased from GH₵23.4 billion recorded in March 2019 to GH₵33.8 within the same period in 2020, indicating a percentage increase of more than 30 percent.
Additionally, the balance on float for all mobile money transactions, which stood at GH₵2.7 billion in March last year, now stands at GH₵3.9 billion, representing an increase of GH₵1.2 billion. The balance on float is the amount of mobile money cash that sits with the banks. The float boosts liquidity for banks.
This was contained in the Summary of the Economic and Financial Data for May, published by the Bank of Ghana.
The data further reveals that the total number of mobile money transactions also shot up from 156 million in March 2019 to 205 million in the same period this year.
This means that mobile money transactions grew by approximately 49 percent over the twelve month period from March 2019 to March 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, a higher growth is expected in the coming quarters. Telcos have reduced charges, with MTN charging no fees for transfers up to GH₵100. Also there are calls for people to minimise the use of cash and resort to cashless transactions.
Again, the data further indicates that there are 34.3 million registered mobile money accounts in the system as at March this year compared to the 29.6 million recorded in the same period in 2019. The figure represents an increase of over 13 percent. However, active mobile money accounts stood at 14.8 million in the first quarter of 2020, an increase of about 2.1 million subscribers relative to the 12.7 million recorded last year in March.
Mobile money penetration
Mobile money penetration is growing rapidly in Ghana. The economy is seeing increasing growth in terms of agents and customers, since its introduction in 2008 by telecom giant MTN.
Between January and June 2019, the total volume of mobile money transactions reached 915.8 million compared to 655 million recorded in the same period in 2018, an increase of 40%. The latest summary of economic and financial data released by the central bank, again, indicates that total value of mobile money interoperability increased from GH₵30.4 million in March 2019 to GH₵166.3 million within the same period out of a total transaction of 1987 this year.
This also means that cross mobile network transactions grew by nearly 82 percent in March this year. Mobile money interoperability is a system that allows customers to transfer money from one network to another seamlessly.
Other payment systems
For the other payment systems, the value of cheques cleared at various banks increased from GH₵13.6 billion in the first quarter last year to GH₵15.1 billion within the same period under review in 2020.
Similarly, according to the report, total number of cheque transactions for March 2020 remain the same as the figure recorded in the same period last year which stood at 562 thousand.
This means that there has not been a change in total number of cheque transactions in 12 months.
E-Zwich also saw an increase in total value of GH₵702 in terms of transaction this year, compared to GH₵582 reported last year in March, representing a percentage increase of about 17. 1 percent.
Again, the report indicates that the Ghipss Instant Pay (GIP), on the other hand, increased in total transaction value from GH₵81.9 million in March 2019 to GH₵422.5 within the same period in 2020.’ Furthermore, Gh-link, increased in total transaction value from GH₵25.8 recorded in March 2019 to GH₵28.3 million in March 2020.This implies, there has been a percentage increase of almost 9 percent.
Therefore, the data indicates that financial transactions in Ghana are gradually shifting from traditional banking methods such as cheques, and bank payments and deposits digital payment platforms such as those offered by telecommunication.
US$ 1 = GH₵5.78
By Salifu B.B. Moro