Research conducted by the World Bank reveals that there have been some significant gains made in the area of financial inclusion (FI) in Ghana. Data from the bank indicates that the number of adults in Ghana who own bank accounts has risen to 42% in 2017 as against a paltry 13% in 2004 with the global figure currently pegged at 52%. It should however be noted that, having a bank account in itself is just one aspect of financial inclusion.
Mobile Money (MoMo) on the other hand, has been touted as one of the major drivers of financial inclusion particularly in developing countries. Tanzania and Kenya are currently the front runners in sub-Saharan Africa with Ghana making some notable strides over the last few years as mentioned earlier.
In our quest as nation to gain full inclusion, policy makers and key stakeholders in this industry should shift their attention from just financial inclusion to financial literacy. Financial literacy in my view will serve as the oil to grease the wheels towards attainment of full FI.
Additional emphasis should also be placed on ensuring the implementation of know your customer (KYC) policies with the relevant enforcement measures put in place to ensure compliance. To buttress this, relevant policies and guidelines should be enacted, such as the Payment System and Services Bill to regulate the current over 71 financial technology (fintech) service provider firms already in the system. These institutions play a pivotal role as catalyst in the financial inclusion effort.
Lastly, government should act cautiously in seeking to place taxes on MoMo transactions for now as this has the tendency to stop MoMo’s current growth trajectory and erase the gains made so far.