Active mobile money accounts dropped for the fourth month in a row in January 2022 despite consistent rise in the number of registered mobile money accounts in the country.
According to data from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), registered mobile money accounts have declined from 19.4 million in September 2021 to 17.4 million in January 2022.
This means that between October last year and January this year, the number of accounts which transacted at least once in the 90 days prior to reporting by BoG on March 18, 2022, declined by 2 million. In terms of percentages, this implies that active mobile money users declined by 10.3 percent cumulatively, in the past four months.
On a year-on-year basis however, active mobile money accounts increased by 0.1 million, up from 17.3 million in January 2021 to 17.4 million in the corresponding month this year. This resulted a marginal increase of 0.6 percent over the past one year.
From 17.3 million in January 2021, active mobile accounts rose consistently to 18.3 million in June 2021 but suffered a setback, dropping by 1 million to recorded 17.3 million in July. The figure rose significantly to 19.1 million in August 2021 before rising to a year-high of 19.4 million in September 2021.
However, active mobile money users saw a nosedive in October, the first month in Q4 2021, as the number of active users declined by 1million, tumbling to 18.4 million users. Per the current available data, it means just 38.9 percent of the 47.3 million registered MoMo accounts were active as at the end of October 2021.
Even though the number of active users declined, there was more activity among the mobile money agents in October last year as the number of agents deemed to be actively involved in transacting rose to 441 thousand, up from 427 thousand in September 2021.
Registered accounts up, value and volume of transactions down
Registered mobile money accounts continue to rise each month and currently stood at 48.4 million in January 2022, up from 40.0 million in January 2021. The means that a total of 8.4 million new accounts have enrolled on the platform in the past one year, thus, between January 2021 and January 2022.
Whereas the number of registered accounts continue to rise, most of these accounts remained inactive. In other words, the owners have not transacted using these accounts in the last three months prior to March 18, 2022 when the regulator last compiled its data. As of January 2022, 31 million of the 48.4 million registered accounts were inactive. This implied that only 35.7 percent of mobile money accounts were active.
The high number of inactive accounts fed into the number and volume of transactions on the MoMo platform as they both experienced a decline in the first month of the year. The total number of transactions dropped to 372 million at the end of January 2022, from 401 million in December 2021. Similarly, the value of transactions also shrunk to GH¢76.2 billion in January 2021 from GH¢82.9 billion in the 12th month of 2021. This is the second consecutive month that the value of MoMo transactions have seen a decline.
The value and volume of transactions under the mobile money interoperability also declined in the first month of the year, from GH¢2,437.6 million and 12.2 million in December 2021 to GH¢2,107.7 million and 10.3 million respectively in January 2021. The value of transactions in other payment platforms such as Cheques cleared, ACH Direct Debit and Credit, E-zwich, Gh-link, Ghipss Instant Pay (GIP), and Internet Banking, also declined in the first month of 2022 compared to December 2021.
Nevertheless, cumulatively, Ghana’s payment system continues to make significant strides over the years as the patronage of all the platforms continue to rise, further cushioning the government’s financial inclusion agenda. It is however, still unclear how the newly approved E-levy bill, if assented by the President, will impact on Ghana’s payment system going forward.