Cashless transactions hike in the Ghanaian economy - latest figures from Bank of Ghana.

Cashless transactions hike in the Ghanaian economy - latest figures from Bank of Ghana.

 

There has been a spike in electronic money transactions in Ghana. That is according to the latest data released by the Bank of Ghana.

Data regarding the use of money mobile transactions depicts an increase as the value of transactions on that platform moved up by 33 billion Ghana cedis at the end of March this year. Last year, in March, the figure stood at 27 billion cedis, making the bank of Ghana describe the increase as significant. The total value of mobile money accounts held with commercial banks at the end of March this year was recorded to be at 3.9 billion cedis. The figure rose from 2.7 billion cedis in comparison with the same period last year.

 

Also mobile money merchants who are registered and as such employed by the various Tele Communications Companies (telcos) stand at about 239,000. According to BoG’s data the figure is up from 189,000 at the same time last year.

Transactions through the mobile money interoperability platform also saw an increase. The amount of transactions on the interoperability platform is valued at 166 million Ghana cedis at the end of March this year.

 

In addition, the number of debit cards issued by banks in the country stands at 4.5 million as at the end of March 2020.

It is the goal of Government that by June this year all payments in the public sector will be done through electronic means because of the infrastructure it has laid down.

 

For instance, transactions through mobile money interoperability which was initiated by government in 2018 is fueling the cashless agenda of the government. This is because, in May 2018 when the platform was established less than 100,000 transactions occurred. However, by June 2019, it had jumped to 190,000. By August that year there were 280,000 transactions across networks in the country.

 

Prior to the introduction of the mobile money interoperability platform, transactions between all the telcos via the token system was at 90,000. According to the Ghana Interbank Payment and Systems (GHIPSS) the surge in the use of the interoperability platform depicted more than a 200 percent increase.

This was because transactions became easier within the population. Furthering the cashless society goal by the government is the fact that now people can transfer money into their bank accounts without physically being present at the bank.

 

The Chief Executive Officer of GHIPPs, Archie Hesse said in August last year that interoperability has made the financial sector more inclusive. He made this comment because at the time the second phase of the interoperability platform was being launched in November 2018, the unbanked population in Ghana was about 60 percent. The platform which made transactions between banks and the telcos more flexible, roped in a huge number of the population who had no access to banks.   

 

Also, the state is becoming more cashless because telcos are offering savings, investments and micro credit accounts through their networks. These activities are gradually reducing the frequency with which cash is used in the system.

 

With the potential of increasing domestic resource mobilization and reducing interest rates on loans, it is doubtful if the government will renege on its course of making sure that the Ghanaian  society has very little or no cash at all. Also with the convenience that cashless payments bring and the government’s reluctance on spending resources to maintain currency notes the future cannot be clearer.

 

The bank of Ghana’s figures therefore highlights where the Ghanaian financial sector is heading in the near future. Are we ready for a cashless society?