‘Banking sector must embrace mobile money services’

The banking sector must embrace mobile money services to improve retail banking, Kenneth Kwame Gomado, Finance Director at Vodafone Ghana has said.

According to Mr Gomado, the banks, being beneficiaries of over GH¢700 million deposits from mobile money, must collaborate with operators to realise the full benefits of the service.

“Mobile money is slowing down traditional deposit mobilisation, which is an integral part of retail banking. On the other hand, it has been responsible for millions of deposits at banks since its introduction,” he stressed.

Mr. Gomado was speaking in Accra on Wednesday at a banking conference on the topic, “Mobile money and banking: Complementary or competitive?”

Organised by the Corporate Initiative Ghana, the event formed part of the celebration of the 15th Ghana Banking Awards.

The Vodafone Ghana Finance Director was convinced the introduction of mobile money has opened space for non-bankers in the country to be included in the financial space.

“Mobile money has accelerated financial inclusion. It has allowed people outside the financial arena to be involved, further opening the gateway for people to join the banking industry,” he stressed.

To ensure mobile money plays an essential role in promoting a cashless economy, Mr. Gomado asked banks to support the operation of the service rather than seeing it as a competitor in retail banking.

Dr. Settor Amediku, head, Payments Department, Bank of Ghana noted that statistics from the Central Bank indicated that mobile money  accounted for a huge base of banks’ deposits adding that the tool was important in bringing both the formal and informal sector into the financial sector.

Addressing concerns by banks on data sharing, Dr. Amediku said the new Banking Act, yet to be ratified by Parliament, would pursue data sharing between banks and telecommunication companies and permits mobile cash providers to offer other micro services.

He however warned that the full mobile banking benefits would not be realised if the telcos and banks fail to collaborate in the provision of the service.

Chief Executive, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Kwaku Sakyi Addo, expressed optimism for more growth of mobile money since only 20 per cent of mobile users were registered onto the service.

He said the service would ensure efficient fiscal governance, migration of the informal sector to the formal level and is instrumental in helping government monitor the movement of money in the country.

By Claude Nyarko Adams   



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