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Business News of Thursday, 11 August 2016


Customers to enjoy interests on mobile money accounts end of 2016

Mobile money account holders with the various telecom operators will begin to earn interests on their accounts by the end of year. This is the assurance from the Bank of Ghana.

The decision has become necessary following demands from customers and the service providers for interests to be paid on mobile money accounts just as provided by traditional banks.

Citi Business News understands that the interest when finally rolled out will range between 11/2 % and 7% per annum.

According to the Deputy Head of the Payments Systems Department at the Bank of Ghana, Mrs. Claricer Kudorwor, consultations are far advanced and she is optimistic that the central bank will grant the permission by the end of year.
“We will soon give the mobile money operators the green light, hopefully by the end of the year, to commence the payment of interests on mobile money accounts,” she explained.

Customers to benefit from interest

Though telecom operators are yet to roll out the implementation of the policy, the General Manager of Mobile Financial Services at MTN, Eli Hini tells Citi Business News customers with active accounts will be beneficiaries of the interest payments.

“We aggregate the daily interests into a monthly value which is aggregated over a quarter which is then disbursed to deserving customers; which means that if you are a mobile money account holder but inactive or do not have money on your wallet, you will not earn interest,” he stated.
Mr. Hini further outlined the processes in determining the calculation and payment of interests.

“The interest will be paid based on customer balances, the customers keep monies on their wallets and it is those balances that accrue and are put at the banks after which the banks pay the interests. What we’ve done is that on daily basis, we calculate customer balances and apply the necessary interest on that,” he further intimated.

Consumer protection demands clarity

Meanwhile the Consumer Protection Agency wants the Bank of Ghana to be transparent in determining the window at which the interests will be pegged by the telecom operators.

The Agency’s CEO, Kofi Kapito, believes the issues regarding any fee component on the interest window should be made transparent for customers to adjust their expectations of the rate of interest on their accounts.

But reacting to such concerns, Mrs. Kuwordor assured that further discussions on the interest payments will include other stakeholders to achieve its full purpose.

“In talking about stakeholder engagements, we have noted your concerns on the interest payments. We will consider them and we will communicate them back on whatever the decision we take.”