MTN Ghana pays GH¢34m as interest on mobile money
MTN Ghana has paid GH¢34million as interest to about eight million mobile subscribers and 58,000 agents in the first quarter of 2016.
This means that customers of the telecommunications company last year earned from 1.5 per cent to seven per cent as interest on their balance.
“This confirms that MTN is indeed committed to ensuring that its customers reap the benefits of using the mobile money service,” the CEO of MTN Ghana, Mr Ebenezer Twum Asante, said at the launch of ‘Y’ello Save Account’ in Accra.
He said mobile money was now playing a crucial role in making banking services accessible to previously unbanked populations in developing countries.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) in September last year gave the go ahead to mobile money operators to pay interest on the mobile money float.
Total interest accrued on the float as of June 2016 was GH¢15.19 million.
The mobile money subscribers were entitled to at least GH¢12.15 million, representing 80 per cent of the total float balances that will be distributed to subscribers in line with Paragraph 10 (5) of the E-Money Issuers Guidelines (2015).
Total mobile money float balance at the end of June 2016 stood at GH¢679.2 million compared to GH¢341.3 million in 2015, according to the central bank’s data.
During the same period, total number of registered mobile money agents increased to 108,531, compared to about 38,400 in June 2015.
The penetration of mobile money in the country has seen an astronomical rise for the fourth year running, with last year’s value of transaction reaching GH¢35.4 billion, an increment of more than 216 per cent over the previous year.
MTN Ghana, in partnership with Fidelity Bank has introduced a new product, “Y’ello Save Account,” on the MTN mobile money platform to boost the savings culture in the country.
This means that subscribers of MTN mobile money who subscribe to the new product could earn an interest of 12 per cent per annum on their “Y’ello Save Account.”
However, the telecommunication operator presently pays seven per cent interest on the balance of all MTN mobile money wallet holders.
Mr Asante said the introduction of the product was further to integrate the banking and telecommunications sectors.
He opined that the product was also consistent with the quest to deepen financial inclusion in the country.
“Savings, as we know, contribute significantly to the growth of economies around the world and it also plays a significant role in the development of the individual’s wellbeing. So, the ability to achieve goals or capitalise on opportunities are many times made possible by access to savings,” he noted.
“We believe that with over eight million subscribers MTN mobile money subscribers and 58,000 agents, the Y’ello Save platform will become an important avenue for subscribers to harness the benefits of savings,” he added.
He noted that the MTN has partnered with over 16 banks in the country to deliver financial products of great value to our customers.
“The Y’ello Saving Account, which is a mobile money wallet based savings product is developed to give subscribers a convenient way to save and earn attractive interest,” the Managing Director of the bank, Mr Jim Baiden, said.
“This is an account that has been specially designed to offer mobile phone users with access to a unique savings product that gives the customer high interest earning,” he said.
He said the bank was partnering MTN to create a product that would provide the growing number of mobile money users, a new product that they could use instantly and build their savings.
The managing director opined that the product was developed especially in response to the needs of customers to remove cumbersome paper work associated with traditional banking which had become bottleneck for them.
Unlike traditional banking, he said the Y’ello Saving Account would ensure that anyone could open the savings account in just a few minutes from anywhere.
“One of our key areas of focus for Fidelity, as the leading private sector indigenous bank in the country is to provide our services to as many people as possible,” he added.