Ghana now has the most advanced electronic payments system on the African continent, following the launch last week of the Mobile Money Payment Interoperability System, and this will allow for greater financial inclusion, the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has declared.

While some countries on the continent have the ‘standard’ mobile money interoperability system, which allows seamless transactions between customers of the various telecom service providers, Ghana’s system allows transactions between telcos as well as banks, making financial services more accessible to the populace.

Vice President Bawumia launched the first mobile money payments interoperability system in Ghana on Thursday 10th May, 2018.

The system is expected to largely eliminate the difficulties associated with traditional banking services, and make banking services more accessible to the large unbanked population, estimated to be about 70%.

Speaking at the launch of Ghana’s first private Third Party Processing Company, Payswitch, in Accra on Wednesday 16th May, 2018, the Vice President said Ghana’s system was unique, and the conclusion of the second phase would make it even more advanced.

“What Ghana has done, which we did last week, has not been done in Africa” Vice President Bawumia declared.

“We're doing something that is unique. We are allowing interoperability between the mobile companies, so whether you are an MTN, Vodafone Tigo or Airtel user, you can send money between these operators. That is the standard type of interoperability that you see for example in Kenya or Tanzania, but we went one step ahead of that. We brought in the banks so that you have the telcos and the banks, so you can send money from your mobile phone to your bank account and from the bank account to your mobile phone. That is something that is missing in other countries in Africa and Ghana is the first country to get there.”

Vice President Bawumia indicated that the second phase of the interoperability system would be fully implemented in about two months, with the tying-in of the National Switch & Biometric Smart Card Payment System, to complete the payment systems chain.

“In the next couple of months we will be bringing in the e-zwich system to be part of it and we will complete the triangle between the e-zwich, the banks and the telcos. That is phenomenal, and in this context Ghana is arguably the leading country right now in Africa in the area of mobile payments interoperability. We have overtaken Tanzania, Kenya and other countries in this area.”