Telcos monopoly over mobile money to be broken

– Payment Systems and Services bill 2017

The Payment Systems and Service bill, 2017, which is currently before cabinet, will expectedly allow banks to issue electronic money – thereby breaking the monopoly of telcos.

“Some universal banks have submitted applications to also issue electronic money under the Payment Systems and Services bill 2017 that is currently before cabinet.

“The bill’s passage is expected to break the monopoly of telcos and allow other payment services providers to also offer varied payment services,” the Bank of Ghana’s latest Payment Systems Oversight Annual Report, has said.

The Payment Systems Act, 2003 (Act 662) provides for the establishment, operation and supervision of electronic and other payment, clearing and settlement systems, the rights and responsibilities of transacting and intermediating parties and for other related matters.

However, the report noted that Act 662 failed to make provision for emerging payment streams such as electronic money, prepaid cards, credit cards, electronic platforms and payment instruments.

The bill, the report noted, is expected to open-up the electronic money space to engender financial inclusion and help reduce poverty; amend and consolidate laws and guidelines relating to payment systems, electronic money operations; and regulate institutions which issue electronic money and provide payment services.

With almost 152,000 mobile money agents as at December 2017, which is a 41 percent increment from 2016, the value and volume of transactions on the mobile money platform continue to rise astronomically.

Total volume of mobile money transactions moved from 550.22 million in 2016 to 981,57 million in 2017, representing a jump of 78.4 percent. In terms of value, it increased by 98.51 percent from GH¢78.51billion in 2016 to GH¢155,85billion in 2017.

The value of retail payments (excluding cash) increased by 43.18 percent to GH¢381.43billion in 2017 from GH¢266.39billion in 2016. The growth in the value of the retail payment instruments was on account of increase in the value of mobile money services, 98.5 percent, and e-zwich, 45.34 percent.

The report showed that mobile money has overtaken cheques as the main non-cash retail payment instrument with 981.6 million transactions; followed by Debit Cards, 60.4 million; e-zwich, 8.4 million; cheques, 7.3 million; and Direct Credit Transfer, 6.1 million in 2017.

However, in terms of value of transactions undertaken in 2017, cheques continued to maintain the lead with GH¢179.6billion while mobile money followed closely with GH¢155.8billion.

Meanwhile the number of registered Internet banking customers declined by 2.65 percent from 962,487 in 2016 to 936,965 in 2017. The number of registered mobile banking customers also decreased by 2.97 percent, from 2.18 million in 2016 to 2.11 million in 2017.

The value of Internet Banking transactions however showed an increase of 43.66 percent to GH¢9.74billion in 2017, compared with the 2016 position of GH¢6.78billion. Mobile Banking transaction value was GH¢1.50billion in 2017 compared with GH¢357.38million in 2016 – and represented a growth of 320.1 percent.

The volume of transactions on the Internet banking platform dropped by 9.88 percent from 2.71 million in 2016 to 2.44 million in 2017, with the daily volume also dropping by 9.64 percent.

Source: B&FT

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