Ghana’s burgeoning fintech industry is said to be one of the most active ones in the African sub-region.
Leapfrog Investments, leading emerging markets financial services fund, has invested over US$15 million in Ghana’s insurance sector since 2012 including insurance tech companies like BIMA, making it one of its leading portfolio countries on the African continent.
“The idea is to expose Ghana’s fintech landscape to the world’s fintech capital-London, for investment, trade and knowledge transfer opportunities”, Paul Damalie, Chapter Lead, Next Bank Accra said.
Romeo Kwame Bugyei, Managing Director of IT Consortium, a leading Ghanaian fintech solutions provider believes that the fintech industry has potential to drive financial inclusion in the country.
He added: “Currently, the Bank of Ghana doesn’t regulate the fintech industry. But the banks that the fintech companies are dealing with are being regulated by the BoG”.
Despite the absence of the regulation, fintech firms operating in the country are contributing greatly towards digitizing the Ghanaian economy with the introduction several solutions for the banking and telecoms industries, Mr Bugyei noted.
Vahid Monadjem, Chief Executive Officer of Nomanin which provides banks, mobile networks and mobile money operators with merchant tools and management platforms, was optimistic that if Fintech firms come together and do things together, they could improve financial serves in Ghana and other parts of Africa.
“This is the best move to bring financial services to the excluded”, he stated.
Ivan Mbowa, Chief Executive Officer of Umati Capital, a Kenya-based financial institution, noted that with the evolution of the fintech industry in Africa, it was possible to change the course of agric financing in the continent.
“Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century. Originally, the term applied to technology applied to the back-end of established consumer and trade financial institutions”, according to experts.
Millions of jobs can be created from the fintech industry if the government pays serious attention to it by putting the appropriate policies in place to harness it, fintech experts said.
The World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and Intermedia in December 2015 released an influential report detailing new insights into Ghana’s progress on financial inclusion and usage of Mobile Money.
The report included findings from a nation-wide Financial Inclusion Survey (FII) and compares Ghana to its African peers – including Kenya and Tanzania, the two most successful Mobile Money markets on the continent.
It revealed that 17% of Ghanaian adults are active users of Mobile Money. The report suggested that high banking penetration has likely played a role in Ghana’s adoption of Mobile Money: 34% of adults already have a bank account, and 45% of those individuals access it through mobile apps or the internet.
Ghana’s active Mobile Money user-base has more than doubled in one year. CGAP expects Ghana’s positive progress to continue especially since new Mobile Money regulations were passed in July 2015 which have awakened policymakers of the critical role that Mobile Money plays in driving financial inclusion.
Ghana outranks Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania on four indicators of “mobile-readiness”. According to CGAP Ghana is “the most digital financial services-ready country in Africa” when it comes to the key elements required for successful adoption: 92% of adults have the required ID necessary to open an account and 91% of Ghanaians already own a mobile phone (compared to only 74% and 72% in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively).
Ghana’s Mobile Money users are better-off than their African peers. 60% of Ghana’s active. Mobile Money account holders live in urban areas, and only 19% live on less than $2.50 per day compared to 72% in Rwanda, the report added.