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Ghana advances on mobile money interoperability

Ghana , 05 Dec 2018

Ghana advances on mobile money interoperability

Ghana's Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia launched the second phase of the country's mobile money interoperability in Accra.

The country has effectively interconnected mobile money and the e-zwich payment system to the gh-link platform. This will enable user to transfer funds across bank accounts, mobile money wallets and e-zwich.

Bawumia said universal interoperability will remove the complexity involved in moving funds in real-time.

He said: "This should make us more efficient and enable us to accomplish more within the same time available to us. It will also enable free flow of funds between and among all the three platforms; allowing the banked and the unbanked to interact at the same level."

According to Bawumia, the quick flow of funds enabled by universal interoperability should also translate into quick turnaround for businesses. "The possibilities are enormous, and I expect the FinTechs to take advantage and collaborate with the banks and other financial institutions to give us great products."

The mobile money interoperability project involves the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS), Bank of Ghana, FinTech firms and telcos.

In May 2018, ITWeb Africa reported the launch of Phase I during which the mobile money platforms were connected to the gh-link system, but not the e-zwich payment system.

Since the completion of Phase I, mobile money customers in Ghana have been making payments from mobile money wallets to bank accounts, and vice-versa. It has also allowed the transfer of funds between the various mobile money services provided by the telecom companies.

In February 2018, Ghana's central bank revealed that the value of deposits and withdrawals by Ghanaians using mobile phones for banking almost doubled in 2017. The report added that the value of mobile transactions rose to 155.8 billion cedis (approximately US$34.6 billion) last year from 78.5 billion cedis in 2016.

According to a 2017 GSMA Intelligence report, over 40% of the adult population in Ghana uses mobile money regularly.

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