In the first four months of 2021, the usage of mobile money in non-cash retail payments overtook the traditional cheque transactions in the country.
A Bank of Ghana (BoG) report on payment systems showed that while the volume of transactions on mobile money was GH¢301.1 billion, that of cheque transactions was GH¢68.3 billion between January and April this year.
The Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB) Ghana said based on the growth trajectory, it was hopeful that the usage of mobile money in non-cash retail payments would surpass traditional cheques far more than the GH¢389 billion recorded for mobile money transactions in 2020.
However, it is not clear whether the trend of more consumers switching to the use of mobile money for transactional purposes will continue after the proposed 1.75 per cent levy on mobile money and other electronic transactions which takes effect next year.
But opening the 25th National Banking Conference of the CIB Ghana in Accra on November 18, the President of the institute, Right Rev. Patricia Sappor, observed that if the trend continued, the total value of mobile money transactions would surpass cheque transactions by far.
On the theme: “The Digital Economy of Ghana: The Strategic Role of the Banking Industry,” the conference provided a platform for an in-depth interrogation of topical issues in relation to the economy and the banking industry.
It hosted personalities such as the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Governor of BoG, Dr Ernest Addison, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB), Mr John Awuah and other stakeholders in the banking industry.
Rev. Sappor stated that the trend of more consumers switching to the use of mobile money had also enhanced the country’s quest to continue to improve financial inclusion among the citizens.
“In view of the above, we saw many banks in the country rise to the occasion at the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by ensuring digital platforms were readily available and working seamlessly to prevent any interruption in banking services to customers.
“It is important to note that the banking industry is among the few in the country which was future-ready for COVID-19 by actively driving the adoption of digital products across its customer base,” she said.
For his part, Mr Awuah noted that digitisation would continue to remain a core pillar of banking in the country.
“Today’s customer needs have become increasingly complicated and sophisticated.
The pandemic has also contributed to a more complex environment where any entity which does not embrace the changing trends might not survive.
The theme for this year’s conference aligns well with the sentiment across the board about the leadership role banks can exhibit as stakeholders chart a new path towards the country’s digitisation journey,” the CEO added.
For his part, Dr Bawumia commended financial institutions for their immense roles towards a successful payment system in the country.
“I also acknowledged the Bank of Ghana's efforts in deploying comprehensive reforms and interventions, especially during these unprecedented times, by providing the financial sector with various regulatory reliefs that allowed banks to provide financial support to critical sectors of the economy as part of the COVID-19 policy responses”.