The Bank of Ghana has given approval for mobile money operators to pay interest on mobile money deposits effective September 11, 2016.

Depositors will earn between 1.5% to 7% interest on their deposit.

The first quarter of 2016 interest payment is therefore on September 11, 2016, and second quarter payment is due on September 18, 2016.

Total interest accrued on the float [deposit] as at June 2016 was GH₵15.19million.

The announcement comes as mobile money transactions in the country reached a total of 679.17 million Ghana Cedis.

This figure represents a 20% growth for the mid-year figure, compared to the 547.96 million Ghana Cedis recorded for the end of 2015.

The mobile money subscribers are entitled to at least GH₵12.15million representing 80% of the total float balances that will be distributed to mobile money subscribers in line with Paragraph 10(5) of the E-Money Issuers Guidelines (2015).

Meanwhile, banks have been urged not to see the mobile money operators as competitors but as an important channel for financial inclusion.

Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Johnson Asiama, said mobile money operators have deployed technologies and infrastructure that is driving financial inclusion as envisaged.

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

The data also shows that there are some 108,531 registered mobile money agents in June 2016 compared to 38,400 in June 2015.

Dr Asiama said the “trend confirms the wide and growing acceptance of mobile money services as an alternative to other modes of transaction.”