The completion of the Financial Inclusion Triangle means that practically, anyone with a mobile phone has access to banking services without necessarily walking into a bank to open an account, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has said.
This financial inclusion triangle, which allows the movement of money between mobile money wallets, bank accounts and ezwich accounts, is a first in the world, and has made banking services available to the large unbanked population in Ghana.
There are currently 31 million registered Mobile Money accounts, according to the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPPS). Ghana’s population is estimated to be about 28 million.
Explaining the significance of the uniquely Ghanaian financial innovation on Saturday 15th December, 2018, Dr Bawumia indicated that making financial services easily accessible formed part of Government’s resolve to leverage technology to modernise the Ghanaian economy.
“If you could take the mobile phone with a mobile wallet, be able to make it interoperable with a bank account, so that you can move money between your mobile phone and a bank account, from a bank account to your mobile wallet, from your bank account to the ezwich account, from the ezwich account to your mobile wallet… it means that today if you have a mobile account you practically have a bank account because you can move money and pay your taxes, pay your passport fee, pay your for your DVLA charges just from your mobile wallet into the bank account of government.
The vice-president, who was speaking at the 10th Congregation of the Pentecost University College, Accra, continued: “Government can also transfer money to you through your mobile account even if you don’t have a bank account. So you have the use of a bank account without necessarily going to a bank to open a bank account, and this is going to bring a lot of our population into the financial system and move us from financial exclusion to financial inclusion.”
The use of electronic payments would also reduce the need for human interface and strengthen the fight against corruption, Dr Bawumia explained, and the government would soon require all payments for public services are made electronically.
“We are going to make sure that sometime next year, hopefully by the second quarter of next year, all payments or payment to MMDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) will only be done electronically. We are going to stop taking cash. You can use your mobile account, your bank account or your ezwich card. Already, today if you go to apply for a passport, you go online, pay for the form online, download it, and send it to the passport office.
“With that type of accountability, there will be less corruption if you have less cash moving about.”
Congratulating the graduands, Dr Bawumia urged them to use the “tools of the mind, tools of thinking and skills” acquired over the period of learning to “ask old questions in new ways. You have the tools to problem solve. Use the knowledge acquired to better your lot, make a difference to your community, and to contribute to society building. Volunteer where you can. Because it is in giving of yourself to greater and bigger causes of life that you discover or enrich your true human nature.”