It will be possible from next week to send mobile money from one mobile phone network to another seamlessly when the mobile money interoperability is launched on May 10.
The launch, to be performed by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, will come as a major relief as sending money across networks has been a major challenge to many.
The mobile money interoperability is, however, only the first phase of a bigger project that will ensure that the public can also transfer funds from their bank accounts to mobile money networks as well as to e-zwich cards and vice versa in what is being termed the Financial Inclusion Triangle.
The move by the Ghana Interbank Payment and settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Telcos and banks, was in response to a challenge thrown by the Vice President Bawumia, last year, for a mobile money interoperability to become a reality in Ghana.
While the original plan was to ensure that mobile money transfers and transactions were possible across the various Telcos, what is being worked on goes far beyond that.
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Mr Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, said the first phase, which was the mobile money interoperability, would go live next week Thursday, May 10, while the other two legs of the Financial Inclusion Triangle will follow.
This will allow movement of funds from bank accounts to mobile money wallet and to e-zwich cards seamlessly.
The launch, which is a collaboration with GhIPSS, Telcos and financial institutions, is expected to excite the financial sector.
Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Telecoms, is upbeat about the eventual linkage among the three major platforms namely bank accounts, mobile money and e-zwich.
He said the seamless movement of funds across the various platforms should quicken business delivery.
He urged businesses and government institutions to realign their systems such that the public will be able to make payments using the various channels instead of cash.
“Increased Government-To-People and People-To-Government payments should be pushed further as the next frontier in the digitisation and economy formalisation agenda.
“Ghana, over the past decade, has been making frantic efforts at modernising the payment system through the establishment of GhIPSS as the institution leading the agenda,” Mr Ashibgey said.
GhIPSS, together with financial institutions, has introduced and operationalised electronic payments channels such as e-zwich and Automated Clearing House, which have both Direct Credit and Direct Debit.
Cheques are now cleared electronically while there is gh-link interbank switching platform to make Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sales devices interoperable and accessible by different bank cards.
Latest additions to the electronic payment channels are the Instant Pay and the e-bills pay that enable funds to be transferred across banks instantly.
Ghana can make significant savings with the launch of the mobile money interoperability and even save a lot more when the financial inclusion triangle is fully in place.
This is because the more people use electronic payment options, the less money will be used in maintaining, replacing and destroying worn out currency notes.
The quick movement of funds across different platforms can also stimulate economic growth. It is also expected to make payments or movement of funds quick, secure and convenient.
Businesses and individual could become more efficient as several financial transactions can be performed without any or limited physical movement.
The unbanked population is also expected to drop as more people will be roped into the banking sector, directly and indirectly.