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MTN looks to a cashless society
 
Posted on: 02-Aug-2012         Source: myjoyonline.com
 
 
 
MTN has launched a mobile money campaign in hopes of driving home the benefits of a cashless society. The electronic service enables users to transact business without carrying physical cash. This campaign MTN says is targeted at rural Ghana many of whom are unbanked.

The telecom giant by this initiative wants to capitalize on the over 20million mobile users to increase its subscriber base. The Mobile Money service is no different from the e-zwich or other electronic payment systems. One is able through technology to move money around without physically carrying it. Speaking on pm:EXPRESS Wednesday, the head of the commercial mobile money unit Eli Hini explained that “targeting rural Ghana is strategic to MTN especially in flood prone areas where lots of properties are lost after heavy downpours. Keeping your money on the mobile wallet would safeguard you against some of these looses. The service allows you to shop with your phone, pay schools fees, and other services requiring money transactions”.

Mr. Hini disclosed that the mobile money subscriber base is growing but more education is needed.
For now, a subscriber is charged 50pesewas for transferring up to 50 Cedis on the service. “With a wallet, the receiver could cash it easily but without that, a code is needed to cash from any merchant”, he explained.

An Economic Consultant, John Gatsi explaining the benefits of a cashless society also on pm:EXPRESS mentioned the elimination of corruption and the lack of transparency in revenue collection which would inadvertently help government to realize higher revenue. “with a cashless economy, the interface between the revenue officer and taxpayers would be elated and government can generate more tax revenue. Also the incidence of bribery and evasion would be reduced.

However he raised issues with the disjointed approach currently operational. Several corporate entities have tried working in silos to achieve a cashless society but John Gatsi said a national approach would be more efficient. He said countries that have seen an efficient cashless society employed a national approach and Ghana would be best served if a bill is introduced to complete the infrastructure that already exists through the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhiPPS)

With the expectation for the Central Bank to build credibility around the electronic system, MTN on Friday would hold a stakeholder roundtable discussion to involve the Bank of Ghana in its educational campaign to drum home the need for a cashless economy.