Financial Inclusion BoG to banks: don't see mobile money operators as competitors

The Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana has told banks not to see mobile money operators as competitors. He made the comment at the launch of a survey report by the PWC in Accra.

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The move would have to be approved by the Bank of Ghana to see the light of day. play Banks have been urged not to see mobile money operators as competitors.
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A Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Johnson Asiama, has urged banks not to see the mobile money operators as competitors but as an important channel for financial inclusion.

According to him, mobile money operators have deployed technologies and infrastructure that is driving financial inclusion as envisaged.

He was speaking at the launch of the 2016 Banking Survey by PWC last week.

“So let’s leverage on the technology and agent network to promote financial inclusion without risking the general safety and soundness of the financial system,” he said.

The survey report, titled “How to win in an era of mobile money,” noted among other things that banks are increasingly worried the mobile money operators will metamorphose into banks.

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Nonetheless, Dr Asiama said the central bank will strive to ensure that risks in the financial sector is reduced and achieve financial inclusion as well as build a robust financial system.

“As regulators, BoG will continue t dialogue and fine-tune the regulatory and supervisory framework to ensure that we minimize the risks and vulnerabilities in the system so that we can achieve our financial inclusion objectives whilst we build a robust payments system infrastructure for the country,” he said.

Mobile money deposit, according to data from the Bank of Ghana, at the end of June 2016 stood at GHC679.2 million compared to GHC341.3 million in 2015.

Dr Asiama disclosed that there are some 108,531 registered mobile money agents in June 2016 compared to 38,400 in June 2015, adding that the “trend confirms the wide and growing acceptance of mobile money services as an alternative to other modes of transaction.”

He disclosed that the volume of transactions recorded using the mobile money platform could have gone outside the formal banking system since the funds are mobilized for the banks at no cost to them.

“Consider the June 2016 float balance [deposit] of GHC879.17. These are funds mobilized for the banks at no cost to them: funds which could have been outside the formal banking system without such ecosystem."

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