The financial industry holds great potential for the future of African economies. With a continent where technological advancement hasn’t gained it roots in the development and livelihood conditions of its citizenry, the search for new innovations and creativity is seen as the power of the future.
Today, mobile payments have revolutionized the financial industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately, about two thirds of people have a cellphone, yet only around one-third have bank accounts for financial transactions. Cash is still king in the region, and the financial architecture of bank branches, payment cards and transfer services that are ubiquitous in the West are lacking. People need to buy, sell and get paid, while the large remittance market means moving money internationally is a huge business.
Stand-out success stories in Ghana, such as Mobile Money transfer system now used across the country have changed the way that consumers, banks and investors see the growth of banking and finance in my homeland.
MTN-Mobile money was the first mobile-money operator in Ghana. The system helps provide fast, simple, convenient, secure and affordable way of transferring money, making payments and doing other transactions using a mobile phone. The company’s core product is a mobile-based wallet account that enables entrepreneurs to process money transfers, access working capital financing, and manage their businesses.
The money transfer industry is flourishing at the moment in Ghana, with other telecommunication industries getting involved alongside banks and other corporate entities. With mobile money startups sprouting in all corners of the country, it’s inevitable that the payments landscape is going to go through a substantial change.
Admittedly, most of the recent solutions offered by these existing mobile money startups are about peer-to-peer cash payment models which involves to send and receive money, top-up airtime, pay bills (DStv, ECG Postpaid, Postpaid, School fees and more), buy & pay for insurance, pay employee salaries, pay for airline tickets and other goods and services. Transactions are fast and there is no need to travel far or wait impatiently to receive or send money.
According to the opinions of many people involved in the industry in Ghana, this model has made a big difference in the lives of millions of people who move money around with convenience and it carries a potential to change the financial development in Ghana.