Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment & Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse, has disclosed that the surge in the use of mobile money is largely influenced by COVID-19; a phenomenon which discouraged physical cash.
He further created awareness on how funds can now be transferred across wallets of different telecommunications networks.
“The upsurge in the use of these real-time services was largely influenced by COVID-19 related factors such as the 3 weeks’ lockdown which restricted the physical movements of people, public awareness through extensive education, discouraging the handling of physical cash and encouraging the use of electronic alternatives and the incentivization from the financial services industry with fee waivers on their services.
“In 2019 in terms of volume we had 199.19 and in 2020 420.89, that’s a significant jump of 367%. The question is what we would have done in the absence of mobile money interoperability. Again if you look at the value, it moved from the millions into the billions”.
With Mobile Money Interoperability, being one of the biggest financial sector advances, has considerably increased mobile money transactions in the country.
Since its introduction, many organizations have set their systems to accept mobile money payments, since their customers can pay them regardless of the network they subscribe to.
The GhIPSS Instant Pay platform also recorded significant growth in both transfers from bank accounts to mobile wallets and transfers between bank accounts across banks.
“At the end of 2020, GIP transactions increased by 257% from 1.9 million in 2019 to 6.8 million. GhIPSS also recorded introductory transactions from new services such as Proxy Pay and GhQR code”.
According to the latest data from the Ghana Interbank Payment & Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), it revealed that a total of 43.9 million transactions were processed under the Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) system in 2020, representing a 367% increase from the 9 million transactions processed in 2019.
It further indicated that the MMI performance was determined by three use cases namely: transfers between wallets across Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), transfers from mobile wallets to bank accounts and transfers from mobile wallets to e-zwich card wallets.
Also, the real-time portfolio comprising GhIPSS Instant Pay, Mobile Money Interoperability, Proxy Pay, GhQR etc, recorded significant growth, closing the year with the strongest performance.
Before mobile money interoperability was introduced, transaction from one network to another through what was called the token system was about 90,000 transactions per month on the average. This shows that cross network transactions have gone up by over 200 percent compared to the token system.
The launch of mobile money interoperability made seamless transfer of funds from one mobile network to another possible. People can now send money to another person on a different mobile network from their own phones.
It has also become possible for people to transfer funds from their mobile money wallets to their bank accounts without physically going to a banking hall or using the platform of a Fintech.