Tue, 23 May 2023 Business Features

Surge in Mobile Money Transactions to GH¢ 550.4bn Driven by Convenience and Digital Shift - Academic City Lecturer

By David Annan
Dr. TampuriDr. Tampuri

In a remarkable display of the evolving digital landscape, Mobile Money (MoMo) transactions in Ghana have continued to soar, defying expectations even after the implementation of a mobile money tax by the government. according to data from the Bank of Ghana. Mobile money transactions in Ghana totaled GH¢ 550.4 billion in the first four months of 2023. This is an increase of 66.2% from the GH¢ 331.2 billion recorded during the same period in 2022. The highest monthly transaction value was recorded in March 2023, at GH¢ 147.5 billion. The lowest monthly transaction value was recorded in April 2023, at GH¢ 138.8 billion.

This surge in mobile money payments highlights the growing acceptance and utilization of digital financial services among Ghanaians. Despite the imposition of a mobile money tax, several factors have contributed to the sustained growth in this sector.

Convenience and Accessibility remain at the forefront of the mobile money revolution. Mobile money offers a hassle-free and accessible means for individuals to send and receive money, make bill payments, and conduct various financial transactions. It eliminates the need for physical cash and provides a digital platform that is available to a wide range of individuals, including those without access to traditional banking services. The ease of use and convenience associated with mobile money has undoubtedly contributed to its rising popularity.

The shift towards digital payments has also played a significant role in the continued growth of mobile money transactions. With the mobile money tax in place, individuals and businesses have been incentivized to embrace digital payment methods. Mobile money provides a secure and traceable way to conduct financial transactions, which can be seen as advantageous compared to cash-based transactions. This shift towards digital payments not only aligns with global trends but also brings about benefits such as increased transparency, financial inclusion, and opportunities for economic growth.

One key factor that has contributed to the sustained growth is the reduction in the electronic levy. The government's decision to lower the electronic levy from 1.5% to 1% has had a positive impact on mobile money transactions. The reduced tax rate has made mobile money transactions more affordable for users, alleviating the financial burden and encouraging continued usage of the service. This move has likely played a pivotal role in driving the increased adoption of mobile money, as it has provided users with a more favourable cost structure.

Furthermore, the growing acceptance of the digital economy in Ghana cannot be understated. As the country continues to embrace digital technologies, including mobile phones and the internet, the population is becoming more comfortable with digital financial services like mobile money. The convenience, speed, and security offered by mobile money align with the preferences and needs of a digitally inclined population. This positive reception has undoubtedly contributed to the upward trajectory of mobile money transactions.

In light of the significant growth in mobile money transactions, Dr Mark Tampuri, a Finance expert and Lecturer at the Academic City University College, has emphasized the importance of leveraging these gains and creating an enabling environment. He posits that ``to sustain the momentum of mobile money transactions, the relevant stakeholders must create and support an enabling regulatory environment that balances consumer protection with innovation and competition. This framework should ensure transparent and fair practices, foster trust among users, and provide clear guidelines for mobile money service providers. By establishing a supportive regulatory landscape, Ghana can attract investment, drive healthy market competition, and encourage the development of innovative mobile money solutions``.

According to Dr Tampuri, ``to position Ghana as an appealing destination for digital finance players, the government should introduce further incentives for digital investments. These incentives could encompass tax breaks, simplified regulations, and initiatives to promote investment … By fostering an environment that is conducive to investment, promoting innovation, and embracing emerging technologies, Ghana can encourage the development of cutting-edge digital finance infrastructure, foster the establishment of new businesses, and drive sustainable economic growth. This approach will position Ghana at the forefront of the digital finance industry, attracting both local and international players, creating a thriving ecosystem of innovative solutions, generating employment opportunities and contributing to the overall economic prosperity of the country.

Dr. Tampuri however proposes alternative measures to the e-levy, such as exploring more targeted taxation approaches and finding innovative ways to generate revenue, in order to ensure that mobile money transactions remain affordable while still contributing to the economy.

David Annan
[email protected]