The General Manager in charge of Mobile Financial Service of MTN Ghana, Mr Eli Hini, has called on the regulators of the mobile financial services in the country to introduce regulations that will aid the development of innovative ideas to enhance the effectiveness of the industry.
He explained that to rather pass regulations that would stifle growth, it was necessary for the regulators, the Bank of Ghana and the National Communications Authority (NCA), to help encourage innovation in the industry.
Speaking to the Graphic Business at the launch of the MTN Mobile Money Month in Accra, Mr Hini said it was crucial for the mobile money landscape to be competitive in order to accelerate the cashless economy agenda.
“A country such as Kenya has been touted as the best in mobile financial service because the regulators have simply allowed innovation to thrive,” he said.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) hinted of plans to review its regulations on mobile money transactions in the country before the end of the year.
According to the Central Bank, this is to allow it address the numerous concerns raised over the implementation of the current Electronic Money Issues (EMI) Guidelines designed specifically for mobile money and all types of electronic money.
The move has also become necessary following some lapses in the current laws which have led to the overlapping functions of the telecommunications and banking sectors.
There are currently about five million MTN mobile money active subscribers and over 46,000 merchants nationwide. Mr Hini argued that it was important for Ghana to drive the digital agenda within the framework of the law.
“With improved usage of the service, we decided to revisit the cashless society agenda which was the theme for the mobile money month in 2012. As a growing economy, we must develop a structured programme to achieve the benefits of a cashless economy as the benefits are huge,” he said.
ISO/IEC 27001 Certification
Mr Hini said MTN had acquired ISO/IEC 27001 certification for its mobile money transaction platform, the only company to achieve that feat in Ghana to give confidence to the service subscribers.
“I would like to reiterate the point that MTN Ghana’s mobile money service is safe and efficient. The service operations have been upgraded and it is the only mobile money service set up in Ghana to have attained the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification,” he said.
He said the company was very optimistic of increasing the number of its MTN mobile money merchants from the current 35,000 to cover more potential customers.
From a humble beginning, he said “ the customer’s behaviour has changed and we are seeing the usage of more advanced services such as bill payments, salary payments, school fees payment, payment of goods and services, as well as several others”.
Mr Hini announced that MTN Ghana was presently holding talks with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to enroll the electricity prepaid service on the MTN mobile money platform.
This means that subscribers of MTN mobile money could soon purchase prepaid electricity through their wallet should discussions with the electricity power distributor proved successful.
“Discussions are already underway with the ECG to enroll the electricity prepaid service on the MTN Mobile Money platform,” Mr Hini said.
Mobile money month
MTN Mobile Money Month which was introduced in 2012 is celebrated in August each year to deepen awareness among Ghanaians of the benefits of the MTN mobile money service.
This year’s celebration is on the theme “Let’s go cashless with MTN Mobile Money” and it will be marked by a series of activities across the country.
The activities outlined for the month-long celebrations include a stakeholder conference, inter-tertiary institutions debate in partnership with NUGS, consumer promotions, and a merchant or agent fora.
Other activities to be undertaken include partner banks of the MTN mobile money to launch their own interesting initiatives to excite customers who transact business with them throughout the month.