Vodafone Ghana is calling for a universal mobile wallet system in Ghana, to ensure that mobile money agent kept a single merchant wallet from which they can serve all mobile mobile customers, regardless of which network.
Legal and External Affairs Director at Vodafone Ghana, Geta Striggner-Quartey, made the call during the second edition of the Mobile Technology for Development webinar in Accra.
She stated that having a universal wallet system which makes it possible for customers to access funds from a single wallet at a mobile money agent’s shop, will significantly boost financial inclusion.
Under the currently regime, mobile money agents keep separate wallets for MTN, Vodafone Cash, AirtelTigo Money, Zeepay and G-Money, but with a universal wallet, they will be able to serve customers of all five platforms with just a single wallet.
Geta Striggner-Quartey believes such a system would will broaden financial inclusion, bring relief to clients, increase volumes and frequency of monetary movements across networks and boost the country’s drive towards a cash-lite/cashless society.
“Government and policy makers must engineer policies that will cause a quantum shift and drive massive participation in the digital eco-system,” she said. “We urge government to lift barriers to significantly drive increased usage and acceptance across board.”
Vodafone Ghana, on its own, have taken the lead in waiving all charges on person to person (P2P) mobile money transfers from Vodafone Cash to wallets on all other networks.
The Vodafone Ghana Legal and External Affairs Director said the company has witnessed a significant growth in the movement of money on the Vodafone Cash platforms since the transfer fees were waived.
She thinks more can be done, saying that government should, for instance, consider bringing down the cost of owning a mobile device in the country and collaborate with smart phone manufacturers and operators to make more smart phones reach nearly every adult.
“Additionally, government can drive usage and adoption by waiving VAT on mobile devices,” she added.
Touching on the impact of Covid-19, she noted that the pandemic has further widened the digital divide, and it would take a deliberate effort to make innovative technology solutions affordable and easily accessible to bridge the gap.
“This is the more reason why Vodafone Ghana’s Pan-African initiative, Africa Connected seeks to harness the power of technology to accelerate our efforts to build a better, more resilient, inclusive and green Africa,” she said.