Mobile Money Agents: Making a Living Would Have Been Difficult Without MoMo 

Customers transacting business with MTN Mobile Money agent

Accra, Ghana, July 17, 2019//-The revolution of mobile money transactions in the Ghanaian economy sparked by MTN Ghana is generating thousands of direct and indirect jobs for teeming youth in the country.

From Accra, Ghana’s capital city to Zuarungu, small town in the Upper East Region, young educated people are engaged in mobile money (MoMo) transaction business.

These young people are normally employed by individuals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) owners who are contracted by Mobile Financial Services (MFS) providers namely MTN Mobile Money, Vodafone Cash, and AirtelTigo Money to transaction financial services to their customers on their behalf.

Due to this symbiotic relationship that exists between the MFS providers and MoMo agents, they earn commissions for their transactions.

Cross-sections of MoMo agents, who spoke to African Eye Report, narrated that making a living would have been difficult without the momo business.

Madam Vida Sena Gbedze, who runs Lividas Enterprise, a MoMo agent shop at Alhaji, a suburb of Accra, said the mobile money transfer business has been beneficial to her and her family.

In her own words: “Through this business, I’m able to take care of needs as well as my family”.

For Madam Fidaus Mohammed, an employee at Vdan AD Ventures, the youth are making some money for working in the mobile money eco-space.

Gifty Abena Kissi, another MoMo agent, added that she was able to pay her sister’s school fees at the tertiary level because of MoMo. “So, I see MTM Mobile Money as a Godsend because the company has transformed my life to something meaningful”.

MTN Ghana whose subsidiary is the MTN Mobile alone has 13,000 MoMo agents across the West African country.

It also controls about 85 percent of the country’s mobile money market and has the largest network of MoMo agents in Ghana.

The growth of MoMo agents network across the country is creating additional source of revenue and job opportunities for the masses in the country, according to the General Manager of Mobile Financial Services at MTN Ghana, Eli Hini.

 As stated earlier, mobile money agents are individuals or businesses contracted by MFS providers to facilitate transactions for their customers.

Cash-in and cash-out that is loading value into the mobile money system, and then converting it back out again, is one of the most important functions of MoMo agents.

Also, they do in many instances register new customers and provide front-line customer service—such as teaching new users how to initiate transactions on their phone.  These agents normally earn commissions for performing these services.

Agents, typically conduct other kinds of business in addition to mobile money.  These may include retail of mobile airtime, and SIM cards.

MoMo @10

MTN Mobile Money which is the first to launch mobile money operations in Ghana on July 21st 2009 is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Launched with two main services namely Money Transfer and Airtime Purchase, the platform has six major categories of financial transactions under which varying services are provided. These are pensions, insurance, Savings, micro loans, international remittances and banking options.

 Commenting on the geometric progress of the country’s MFS industry, Mr Hini said: “From less than 100,000 after six months of launch, our registered subscriber numbers have reached the 14million milestone over the 10 year period”.

General Manager for Mobile Financial Services at MTN Ghana, Eli Hini 

We started with nine partner banks and now working closely with 18 partner banks. Our agents are growing. By the end of quarter one of 2019 we recorded 411 million transactions on the MoMo platform, which tells us that people have now become more conversant with using the MoMo to undertake various transactions”.

He continued: “We are actively promoting financial growth. Between 2016 and 2018 we made GH₵139 million Interest Payments to over 10 million customers”.

The recent developments suggest that mobile money technology has evolved and gained public acceptance, and in almost a decade, contributed significantly towards financial inclusion in the country.

For instance, the number of mobile money accounts in Ghana, has reached 32.6 million in December 2018 compared with 3.8 million in December 2012. Total float balances as at December 2012 was GH₵19.6 million compared with GH₵2.6 billion recorded in December 2018, according to the First Deputy Governor of  Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Maxwell Opoku Afari.

Deepening Financial Inclusion

The facilitation of money transfers and payment of utilities between individuals and across sectors has become enormous. We have enabled investment in Treasury Bills possible with our TBILL4ALL product in partnership with Ecobank, Mr Hini, noted.

According to the World Bank Global Financial Inclusion Index released in April 2018, Ghana’s financial inclusion has increased from 41 percent in 2014 to 58 percent in 2017 mainly on account of adoption of digital channels such as mobile money for service delivery.

 The revolution of mobile money transactions in the Ghanaian economy has instigated a paradigm shift to a new kind of retail banking system where large segments of the unbanked populace are being absorbed into the financial services sector.

The success of mobile money transactions in advancing financial inclusion cannot be overemphasized, but there is still scope for further expansion and players and the regulator (BoG) need to focus on areas such as pricing of digital financial services to promote competitive practices to foster increased usage.

This article was facilitated by Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA), Ghana.

By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, African Eye Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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