Ghana making strides in financial inclusion

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Dr Maxwell Opoku Afari (3rd left) and Mr John Gely displaying a dummy of the agreement
Dr Maxwell Opoku Afari (3rd left) and Mr John Gely displaying a dummy of the agreement

The country is making improvement in its efforts to ensure that every individual in the country has access to financial products, the first Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Maxwell Opoku Afari, has stated.

He said current data indicated that financial inclusion in the country had increased from 41 percent in 2014 to 58 percent in 2017.

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He said that was largely driven by the adoption of digital financial services delivery in the country and, therefore, urged financial institutions to continue introducing innovative financial products in order to further deepen financial inclusion in the country.

Dr Afari said this at the launch of a new service by MoneyGram and the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) which allows customers to directly remit money into their bank accounts.

He said technology and financial innovation had permeated almost every aspect of financial activity in the country, as it was witnessing a huge transformation in the payments landscape.

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“These initiatives are promoting financial inclusion, convenience and improved economic development in the country,” he noted.

New product

The new product by MoneyGram and ADB will allow customers in Ghana to receive money from over 200 countries into their personal accounts within minutes.

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While customers can send funds through MoneyGram to all major banks, including ADB, remittances can be accessed by recipients on all deposits into their accounts either in person, online or through an ATM machine.

Also, the 24-hour service by MoneyGram will allow customers to access their money anytime, including weekends and holidays.

The Managing Director of ADB Bank, Dr John Kofi Mensah, noted that the bank wanted to give customers better service delivery and also help to achieve the country’s financial inclusion agenda.

“The ADB was the first bank in the country to introduce remittances services to its customers and efforts have always been made by our partners, especially MoneyGram, to improve and introduce innovative products for the convenience of our customers,” he stated.

“As a customer-focused bank, we will continue to introduce innovative banking products and services which will always be useful to our customers,” he added.

Important milestone

MoneyGram’s Head of Africa, Mr John Gely, for his part, said the introduction of the product marked an important milestone for the remittance market as this was the first time customers could directly remit money into their bank accounts in Ghana.

“Ghana is the fifth largest remittance recipient market and it is an important growing market for us,” he noted.

He said the launch of the product was part of its strategy to provide customers with convenient and accessible technology-based financial services.