Home BUSINESS New BoG guidelines give autonomy to Mobile Money operators

New BoG guidelines give autonomy to Mobile Money operators

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has published two new guidelines aimed at giving the Mobile Money (MoMo) outfits of the telecom operators some autonomy from their banking partners.

The two guidelines are the E-Money Issuer (EMI) Guidelines and the Agent Guidelines; and they form part of the roadmap towards a cashless/cash-lite society.

Under the new guidelines, the mobile money outfits of the telcos would be required to go for new licenses that would make them independent financial institutions rather than just departments of the respective telcos.

That would mean, the MoMo licenses, which was hitherto issued to private commercial banks to partner with telcos, would now be issued directly to the MoMo operators and they will use the banks as just deposit agencies.

The mobile money brands of the various telcos, like MTN Mobile Money, Airtel Money and Tigo Cash, would then become separate financial institutions registered under different names, but still owned by the respective telcos.

Head of one of the three mobile money brands in the country, who did not wish to be named, told Adom News that mobile money operators are doing stuff the banks would not do to deepen financial inclusion in the country and so some banks feel threatened.

“The length to which we have gone to include people in the financial system the banks would not go to that length so they feel threatened that some of their low income customers and potential customers will opt for our more accommodating services instead,” he said.

Mobile money, for instance, allows the unbanked to have access to banking services without having to open bank accounts with the traditional banks.

According to the Mobile Money executive, commercial banks like ECOBANK, Fidelity Bank and others who currently partner telcos for mobile money understand the benefits, but the MDs of two particular banks (names withheld) who do not even do mobile money “seem not to be well schooled” on the opportunities that exist for them, and they are the ones raising objections.

“I think they believe their business is going to be impacted adversely but the truth is that the new guidelines will rather facilitate their businesses,” he added.

Meanwhile, in spite of the apprehensions by those banks, the guidelines are here and mobile money is now set to boost financial inclusion and support Ghana’s journey towards a cashless/cashlite society.

The mobile money outfits of telcos are now set to apply for new licenses to become autonomous financial institutions and manage the funds which flows in the mobile money space. They will still use the banks as deposit agencies but manage the funds themselves.

When they take off fully, people who do not have bank accounts with the traditional banks can now walk to mobile money operators and their partner e-money organizations and actually do banking transactions like take loans and other things.

The banks and the telcos are, however, said to be in discussion on what kind of revenue share arrangement will prevail under the new situation, where the license holder is now the telco and not the bank.


Meanwhile, Vodafone is almost on the verge of launching what is expected to be a superior mobile money platform in Ghana, on the back of the new guidelines.

Former Vodafone Ghana CEO, Kyle Whitehill had said, in previous interviews with Adom News, that the mobile money services being offered in Ghana now do not quite cut it so Vodafone was taking time to provide a service that would be relevant to consumers in every way.


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