Regulation Tripping Up Ghana’s Mobile Money Sector
Friday, March 20, 2015
The mobile financial services sector in Ghana has not yet fully lived up to its potential and is being held back from full development by regulatory hurdles, a new report says.
Africa’s mobile money scene has also not significantly taken off. However, markets in countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe are said to be leading the way.
Ghana, which is one of the west African region’s early adopters of mobile money, remains behind in terms of full development of mobile money platforms beyond airtime top ups and sending money from one person to another, claims a new report by research and advisory firm on mobile financial services Mondato.
“While Ghana has recorded slow but steady growth in mobile money adoption and usage, local deployments have failed to catch fire as many had hoped. Many fingers of blame point at the unusual regulatory regime in the country that underpins what is essentially a branchless banking model of mobile financial services,” says the report released Wednesday night.
The Mondato report adds, “the progress made by Ghana’s mobile money deployments in the past 6 years is noteworthy” but suggests that it has” barely made a dent in the addressable market for mobile finance services” in the country.
“In the unlikely event that the Bank of Ghana is unable to arrive at a better functioning regulatory framework, by 2018 Mondato estimates that the value of Ghana’s MFS market will still be worth less than 20% of Tanzania’s, for example.”