Mr George Andah, the Deputy Minister nominee for Communications has urged stakeholders in the mobile money transfer industry to tackle regulatory challenges inherent in the system to ensure sustainability.
He mentioned charging of illegal fees by mobile money merchants on transactions and fraudsters duping customers.
Mr Andah gave the advice at the fifth Edition of the Ghana Economic Outlook and Business Strategy Summit organised by the African Business Media, in Accra. On the theme: ‘‘Unlocking Ghana’s Economic Potentials, the Mobile Money and Payment Systems’’
The summit brought together captains of industry, financial and investments experts to discuss how best Ghana could explore the mobile money transfer sector to unlock its economic potentials.
In addition, he asked stakeholders to address the management of interest on deposit, broader agent network and inter-operability as well as the ease of topping-up mobile money account directly from one’s bank account.
Mr. Andah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya West in the central Region, noted that when these challenges were resolved, it would bolster the confidence of customers in utilising the mobile money service platforms and ensure its sustainability.
He said: ‘‘when the consumer is convinced of the value for position and having an efficient service, the service would be utilised and sustained.
‘‘And job creation would be boosted therefore Ghana, indeed, will be the overall winner.’
He said there was the need for stakeholders to embark on intensive educational campaigns on the benefit of the mobile money payment system and its convenience to subscribers.
This, according to him, would ensure both government and the operators of the mobile money system attain the medium to long term objectives.
He noted that the theme for the summit was very appropriate since it acknowledged the contribution of technology in improving business and convenience for Ghanaians.
He said Ghana had one of the vibrant telecommunication industries on the African continent and this was achieved on the foundation of conducive regulatory environment that boosted investors’ confidence.
He said as at November 2016 the total telephony subscription in the country stood around 38 million out of which the mobile money platform recorded 550 transactions with the value of seven million Ghana Cedis at the end of 2015.
He added that the transactions in mobile money had since grown to 1.3 billion by the end of 2016.
He said the acceptance and utilisation of the mobile money transactions by Ghanaians provided greater avenue and opportunities for economic prosperity and must be exploited for the benefit of the national economy.
This was in line with the Government’s vision to make Ghana a business-friendly economy on the continent and bring value addition to the citizens that patronise the service, he stated.
He said as a supervisory ministry responsible for information communication technology, it was more concerned about the inter-operability and security of such a payment system.
He said the requirement of inter-operability was essential because it would ensure that mobile money payment systems enhanced competition through improvement of the quality of service.
He said the mobile money transactions had enhanced financial access and ways of doing business as well as creation of jobs for the teeming youth in the country.
He said technology was complementary to all traditional means of doing things which had enhanced business transactions and improved the lives of Ghanaians, adding technology should be seen as a facilitator and not as a competitor.
To ensure consumer protection, Mr. Andah stated that there was the need for enhanced coordination and dialogue among financial service providers and the telecommunication companies.
He indicated that the collaboration between financial transaction operators would trigger promulgation of regulations and policies that would ensure business sustainability and various business models.
He said the digital financial transactions in Ghana and some African countries had assumed international dimension such that international bodies such as the International Telecommunication Union had paid increased attention to the role it was playing to increase access to financial services.
He said there must be adequate broadband infrastructure to support the traffic volumes and the transaction, adding both the government and telecommunication players had invested and continue to invest to enhance the user experience.
He said the government had commissioned the 800km eastern corridor fibre connecting 120 communities and that it was the Government’s intention to commercialise this resource to boost businesses and the quality of telecom services along that route.
He said Ghana had chalked some successes in the utilisation of the mobile money platform to enhance financial inclusion and that there were several positive experiences across the country with general attributes of speed, security, convenience shared by individuals.
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