A former Minister of Finance, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, said that MM sector was poised for growth because it had become widely accepted by the citizenry, therefore, it was incumbent upon banks and insurance companies to align their operations, systems and strategies to better position themselves to win in that area.
“Some countries are doing a lot at aligning mobile money to insurance and banking products. It needs to be encouraged as it avails another distribution channel customised to suit economic and geographic needs of the population outside the financial system,” he said at a the 38th Management Day celebration of the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Legon, in Accra, recently.
Speaking on theme: ‘Finance and Insurance for Inclusive National Development,’ Dr Duffuor said that with the required technology and customer base, mobile network operators (MNOs) were reaching sectors that the traditional financial institutions had fall short to service.
He said it was regrettable that a huge chunk of the populace was still outside the financial system with neither bank accounts nor insurance policies.
“Banking and insurance forms the two sides of the finance coin so their development ought to be equally matched. We require deliberate efforts from all players including government to chart a clear path for the development of these and other financial models,” he said.
Mobile money statistics
A Bank of Ghana (BoG) payment report shows that between 2012 and 2016, registered subscribers of MM increased from 3.8 million to 19.7 million and transactions increased substantially from 18 million to 550 million, while the value of transactions soared from GH¢594 million to GH¢78.5 billion.
Prospects of financing development
The Managing Director of Cal Bank, Mr Frank Adu, said the prospects of using Ghana’s own resources to finance development are varied although they appeared inconscipicious to many.
He said that a focus on restructuring the tax policy and structure to increase revenue, expanding the local capital markets, encouraging public private partnerships, and the promotion of locally owned private equity funds would have both direct and indirect results rising long-term financing for the country’s development.
“Government should explore the prospects of instituting tax reforms which should aim at reducing income inequalities and improving tax inclusiveness,” he said.
He added that government should build the capacity to combat domestic and foreign sources of tax evasion and that the reforms put in place must strengthen the tax administration such that all businesses and tax payers are compelled to meet their tax obligations.
“The reforms should also aim at equipping revenue administrators to build stronger capacity to reduce loopholes and close revenue loses,” he said.
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