MP pushes for tighter regulations for mobile money operations

By | June 19, 2016

Business News of Sunday, 19 June 2016



Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, MP, for the New Juaben South Constituency

A member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Osei Assibey-Yeboah, is pushing for tighter regulations for mobile money transactions in the country.

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, an economist, and Member of Parliament for the New Juaben South Constituency has asked Parliament to compel the Minister of Finance to bring before the House regulations governing such transactions for amendment.

Explaining the rationale for his action on Eyewitness News, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah noted that he was forced to take such a move in the interest of the country since there is no Legislative Instrument backing such transactions.

He explained that currently, the only rules governing e-money business which convers Mobile money transactions, are only administrative guidelines issued by the Bank of Ghana saying they are sometimes not adhered to.

The MP explained that though the guidelines direct that persons making mobile money transactions should not send or receive more than GHc 2,000 “I can tell you, people send in excess of GHc2, 000 daily.”

“In a month, you are not supposed to send more than GHc20, 000 in their own guidelines, but people send more than that,” he added.

Though Dr. Assibey-Yeboah acknowledged that Mobile Money transactions have helped the economy, he opined that if it is not checked, some unscrupulous persons can use loopholes in the guidelines to engage in money laundering and fund terrorist activities.

“I would be the first to admit that mobile money operations have helped the economy. It has brought in the informal economy and banks are able to mob up liquidity which otherwise would have been held in our pockets or under our pillows.”

“If you look at money laundering, funds going to support money laundering, funds going to support terrorist activities. Somebody can sit in Accra and wire GHce500, 000 to somebody in another part of the country.

The system currently is prone to fraud. We have to tighten it” He further argued that it is important for the Minister of Finance to bring before Parliament proper regulations in order for them to have legal backing.

“I am saying that the Minister of Finance should come to Parliament and do the proper thing by bringing a Legislative Instrument and Parliament setting up proper regulations governing e-money business.We shouldn’t sit down idle and wait for some mishap to happen in the e-money business front before we set in.”

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah also said the service charge of 1% on the Mobile Money platform is too much and must be reduced further.

He wondered why a transaction of Ghc1,000 on the platform attracts a service charge of Ghc10.00, whereas such transaction at a Bank with all other services would not warrant that charge.

Mobile Money records over 100 % increase in 2016 first quarter The total value of transactions for mobile money increased by over 100 percent for the first quarter of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.

13.7 billion cedis worth of transactions were recorded in the first quarter of this year alone. According to figures from the Bank of Ghana, the total value of the transaction for 2015 was 35 billion cedis up from the 12 billion cedis recorded in 2014.