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Mobile Money: BoG gives telcos 6-month ultimatum
Library Photo: Showing mobile money
A new set of guidelines from the central bank has given telecommunication companies engaged in the mobile money service up to six months to establish a separate business entity to handle their electronic money services.
The guidelines, which became effective on Monday, July 6, said: “Non-banks that have previously been offering mobile financial services in partnership with banks must apply within six months of the coming into effect of these guidelines, for a license in order to conform to the new framework”.
The objectives of the latest guidelines, the Bank of Ghana said, is to “ensure that electronic money is only provided by (a) financial institutions regulated under the Banking Act, 2004 (Act 673); or (b) duly licensed non-bank entities which are engaged solely in the business of e-money and activities related or incidental to the business of e-money, and which are regulated and supervised by the Bank of Ghana.
Currently, only three of the six mobile telcos — MTN, Airtel and Tigo — are involved in the mobile money business, which has grown from a transaction value of Gh¢171million in 2012 to the multi-billion cedi sector it is now.
The new regulation will mean that MTN, Tigo, and Airtel have a January 6, 2016 deadline to conform to the BoG’s requirements.
The guidelines come at a time patronage of mobile money continues to gain momentum. For the third year running the value of transactions has seen an astronomical jump — from Gh¢2.4billion as at 2013 to about Gh¢11.6billion in 2014 according to the central bank’s data.
Growth of the transactions’ value over the years corresponds with a similar trend in the volume of transactions. So far, the number of transactions has almost quadrupled since 2012; from 30 million to about 106.4 million in 2014.
According to the BoG, the guidelines are being issued as part of its broader strategy to create an enabling regulatory environment for convenient, efficient and safe retail payment and funds transfer mechanisms.
Source: Fidelis A Da-Uri/Upper West Media.