Has the Bank of Ghana just given Banks a competitive edge over Telco’s in Mobile Money ?

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I would like to point out before you start reading the post, dear reader, that my thoughts are mine and my responsibility  .Enjoy… Late 2013 the  Chief The Executive of  the Bank of Ghana subsidiary,Ghana Interbank Mr Archie HessePayment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Mr Archie Hesse announced  the development of a gh-link mobile payment system by GhIPSS in collaboration with eTranzact, a Nigerian transaction company. This basically means GhIPSS has provided a platform for the Banks  to quickly and efficiently enable Mobile Money(mobile phone payment systems will link customers phones to their bank accounts and enable them to make payments from their mobile phones) eTranzact already has a flagship product called pocketmoni , they are  possibly  going to leverage on that for the their partnership with the Bank of Ghana Subsidiary  GhIPSS. The system has been developed and will be tested in early 2014 before going live. Question:Has the Bank of Ghana ,given  Banks a gift that will enable them gain a competitive edge on the existing players AKA the Telecommunication Companies ? Question:Will this Change the existing Mobile Money prepositions available ? AKA Will it Shake up the Market!

ghpiss Ghana
Credit : Ethel Cofie and http://www.mobilecommercepress.com/


Connecting My Bank Account  to my mobile Money account

The inconvenience of users having to draw money out their account first before they go to authorized agent  to transfer or deposit cash is one of the highest barriers to entry for mobile money . As a user,once i set up my Mobile Money i can immediately begin to push payments into my bank account or withdraw money to mobile money account to make payments . Can you see how existing providers might start losing potential customers and even existing ones ?

Lowers the barrier to entry ?

Now would it not be interesting,if the banks incorporated  the mobile money account creation on their internet banking platforms ?… I would not need to travel  to set up my account and deposit money into my Mobile Money account ! Actually would it not be more interesting if Banks leveraged on ATM’s for Mobile Money?

Different Phone channels

I am assuming that the gh-link mobile will be mostly modeled on  Pocketmoni( eTranzact‘s flag ship Mobile Money platform ) Now that might mean that the Banks might get the  Pocketmoni multichannel option .

  • Mobile Phones and Smartphones.
  • USSD

Currently all the existing Mobile Money providers use USSD only. Banks can offer more convenience and extra channels too. I love the IVR Option most , it means those that cannot read or write can still use the service . Like i said a gift to Banks.

Changing the dynamic from banking the un-banked to providing the banked more convenience

The first and lowest hanging fruit for mobile money is  middle class customer segment who are looking for convenience of payment . Providing banks that infrastructure means that they can immediately begin to deploy  and address that group of people( They already have accounts)

Will it Change the Market Dynamics?

I wonder if it will change how the current providers approach the market?The coming months will be interesting. We are all watching ….   CommaIf banks can retain a lot of money, because most transactions are taking place through the banking system, then they would have access to cheap money and loans should also be cheaper….  Mr Archie Hesse CEO of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems