A total of US$728,180 was yesterday awarded to three indigenous fintech companies under the second phase of the Remittance Grant Facility (RGF) Challenge held in Accra.
The beneficiary companies are Nsano Limited which received US$ 250,000 and IT Consortium Limited which received US$ 228,180 while the third company which is yet to be finalised is expected to receive US$ 250,000.
The RGF is an initiative between the government through the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the government of Switzerland to provide grant support to the companies to enhance the flow of remittance through formal channels to the poor and rural dwellers in the country and in the process enhance the impact of remittances on economic growth and poverty reduction.
The project, which is estimated at US$2.6 million is financed by Switzerland through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and managed by Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) International Development Advisory Services (IDAS) began the first phase in 2018.
In 2018, the RGF challenge issued grants between US$20,000 and US$250,000 to three fintech companies and one money transfer operator.
In an address, Mr Sampson Akligoh, Director, Finance Sector Division at the MoF, said eligible organisations such as banks, non-bank financial institutions, money transfer operators, mobile network operators, fintechs and other commercial entities that have the capability and are licenced were eligible to send in proposals, were short listed and selected to win grants to develop products and services on remittances to meet the objectives of the scheme.
The initiative, he said, would support fintech innovation as well as strengthen the financial sector and improve innovation and competitiveness in the remittance market.
Mr Akligoh further urged the beneficiaries to make the country proud to build formidable businesses.
On his part, Mr Daniel Lauchenauer, Deputy Head of Cooperation and Counsellor at the Switzerland Embassy in Ghana, indicated that the remittance market faced challenges with regards to cost, accessibility and how people used it.
To address this, he noted that the introduction of RGF challenge fund would among other things ensure that companies got funding to pursue projects that would enhance and increase remittance services in the country.
The beneficiaries took turns to commend government and the government of Switzerland for their efforts in enhancing the remittance market.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS and ALBERTA BRONI