In the early 2000’s, researchers found out that some mobile phone users would sell their airtime to friends and family for cash. This clever, but improvised use of airtime as a substitute for money transfer was the precedent on which mobile money was created.
Over the years, mobile money in Ghana has seen significant development because of the many advantages it carries. The service, which was introduced in Ghana in 2009 by Ghana’s leading Telecommunications Company MTN is now offered by tiGO, Airtel and Vodafone. In fact, one out of every five Ghanaians has a mobile money account.
Setting up a mobile money account is fairly easy. Once you have a valid national ID card and a SIM card, you just visit your network provider and an account will be created and linked to your mobile number. The only thing you need to make transactions is your PIN number. Fin. Comparing this with traditional banking, where you would actually have to walk into banking hall, fill out documents, make a minimum deposit and walk out with a cheque book and an ATM, it is easy to understand why many Ghanaians are opting for mobile money instead.
The fact that there are many mobile money agents in Ghana makes it easier and more convenient when you have to withdraw money. Let’s say you live and work in Kumasi and need to transfer some money to your sister in a village. Before the onset of mobile money, you may have had to transfer the money through someone, say a friend or a distant relative. This comes with some delay and risk of your sister receiving less than expected. But with mobile money, no matter which network you use, there is at least one agent who can assist your sister cash out almost immediately you transfer the cash.
Gone are the days when local traders would ply long distances without fear of being robbed of valuables by armed bandits in the middle of their journey. Rather than carrying large amounts of money and hoping for event-free trips, more and more traders now transferring money to their mobile money accounts, travelling light and redeeming their money when they arrive safely at their destination.
Even though there has been a mass adoption of the service, Ghanaians primarily use the service for cash in/cash out transactions. They do not use mobile money to pay for utilities and make other online purchases as is the norm in Kenya and Tanzania. This indicates that the service is guaranteed to get better as companies begin to take advantage of the unique opportunities opened up by mobile money. Hubtel, for one, offers a Point of Sale (POS) software for businesses who have products or services to sell and want to give their customers the convenience of paying with a variety of payment options including mobile money.
With the burgeoning and innovative use of the service, mobile money in Ghana is guaranteed to continue rising. Who knows, it could even disrupt traditional banking.
No more street hails or waiting outside to find a ride. Uber has launched in Accra, the 11th city in Sub-Saharan Africa and the 467th globally, in a move that marks its growing presence in Africa.
The service is set to provide unrivaled intra-city movement for the over 4 million people using the streets in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA). Uber’s service has already gained massive brand recognition around the world because of its ease of use and the convenience it provides in an increasingly mobile world.
Uber selected to use SMSGH USSD-based mPOS service to enable a mobile money payment that was seamless and easy to use for riders and driver-partners. According to a recent Bank of Ghana report, mobile money transactions in Ghana have now reached GHs35 billion per quarter.
With the launch of the SMSGH mPOS, Uber riders can now conveniently pay for rides via mobile money. Drivers will simply dial a USSD code containing the driver’s four-digit business identification number (BIN) and the rider’s mobile number (e.g.*713*1234*0244000000#), select the mobile wallet provider and enter the amount to pay. A bill prompt is then issued to the rider to confirm the transaction and complete payment with a wallet PIN. Both driver-partner and rider will then receive an SMS text as confirmation of payment.
In an interview on the solution, a Senior Product Manager at SMSGH, Bubune Peter Adih commented that “….the simplicity of the mPOS application resonates with Uber’s approach to doing business. Being everyone’s private driver Uber strives to breakdown complex interactions into very simple processes and so SMSGH sought to ensure that this payment service works just as well and simple as Uber.“
Uber is celebrating its launch in Accra by providing free rides. This means that from launch date (Thursday, June 9) until Sunday (June 12, at midnight), guests will be able to request an Uber ride at no charge. In order to activate this discount, a user will need to enter the promo code MoveGHANA on their Uber iOS/Android/Windows application. This will offer users 6 free rides within Accra, each up to GHS 20.
UBER is a technology company that connects riders and drivers at the touch of a button.
Available in 467 cities across 72 countries, the UBER platform is evolving the way the world moves. UBER’s mission is to change the way citizens of the world move, work and live. It aspires to transform the way people connect with their communities and to bring reliability, convenience and opportunity to transport systems.
Cashless Payments and Business In Ghana: New Money Never Closes
March 8, 2016 | 3 minutes read
Over 130 million mobile money transactions in 20151, 5 million mobile wallets and a population of over 25 million2. These times signify limitless possibilities for commerce in Ghana!
In the ever-evolving world of business, a key differentiating factor between businesses that lead the pack and those that are left behind is their ability to rapidly adopt new technologies that increase productivity and outcomes. The local Ghanaian business scene is no different.
Cashless Payments, The Next Business Driver
When it comes to accepting cashless payments for goods and services, mobile payments is becoming the major technological driver. This has been due to its unique characteristic and ability to reach both the underbanked and unbanked sectors of the economy who form 80% of Ghana’s population. There has never been a better time to assess your business’ readiness to exploit the emerging opportunity for commerce in a cashless economy than now.
From cash to cheques, to credit cards and debit cards, and now to online banking and mobile commerce, payment methods and rise of mobile phone penetration is changing the way business accept payments!
MPower Payments, the foremost digital payments enabler in Ghana is propelling new innovative channels for businesses seeking to benefit from the cashless revolution. MPower recently introduced the MPower Mobile Point of Sale application (mPOS) to allow businesses operating from any physical location to accept various forms of cashless payments.
mPOS is designed to work across a wide spectrum of industries; from supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, salons, small shops, to delivery agents. No matter the business size, mPOS is easy to set up for various store locations or at multiple sales points within a single store.
Customers purchasing from mPOS enabled merchants can choose their preferred mode of payment – be it their MPower wallet, mobile money on any network or bank card. The mobile nature of mPOS means the point at which payments is made is not restricted to stationary cash registers and this can potentially go a long way to reduce queues. Businesses on the other hand will no longer lose sales from customers carrying limited cash. mPOS simplifies daily sales management and eliminates the risk of transporting physical cash to the bank.
MPower seeks to make mPOS accessible to every businesses by removing the financial barriers to inclusion hence set up is currently free.
Get started at www.mpower.com.gh or call MPower on 0202532273 to request a demo.
–First published on www.GhanaWeb.com