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Business News of Thursday, 23 March 2017

Source: GhanaWeb

Banks not threatened by Mobile Money service - Sam Sarpong

Since the emergence of Mobile Money services in the Ghanaian economy by the telcos, concerns have been raised about it being a threat to the existence of banks in the future as the service has been a platform for various transactions like money transfers, airtime purchase, and payments of fees and utility bills.

As at the last quarter of 2016, records from the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications indicated that Mobile Money wallets grew to 420 percent from an estimated 2.5million in 2011 to over 13 million.

But the Chief Operating Officer of the Ghana Commercial Bank, Sam Sarpong, has debunked the allegations saying Mobile Money services are not and can’t be a threat to banks.

Mr. Sarpong made the assertion during a panel discussion at the 2017 Economic Outlook and Business Strategy conference yesterday, March 22, on the topic “Banks and Mobile Network Operators: Complementary or Competitors?”.

Speaking at the event, although the surge in Mobile Money usage has caught the attention of many Ghanaians where some bankers seem apprehensive about the position of the Mobile Money service as against the future of the banking sector, Mr. Sarpong believes a collaboration between them will be beneficial in order to provide banking services to their customers especially to those in the deprived areas.

“I think the time has come for us to be able to collaborate. We can collaborate in that sense in terms of reaching customers who have previously been very difficult to reach. Providing banking services in terms of going to locations, of course, the physical network is very expensive and the infrastructure in terms of communication that comes with it in terms of the various locations in the country is not cheap. So in terms of facilitating transactions and making small payments easier the telcos have led the way”.

According to him, the telcos have made things easier by providing services to people they can’t reach and expressed confidence that banks will always exist because there are aspects of banking where Mobile Money and technological apps can facilitate banking services but can never take over.