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GhanaWeb Factcheck: Bawumia’s claim on Ghana being first to achieve MoMo interoperability true

Bawumia Lecture 2022 April.jpeg Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is the vice president of Ghana

Mon, 11 Apr 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Claim: Ghana is the first country in Africa to achieve mobile money interoperability, including mobile wallets and bank accounts.

Verdict: True

Explanation:

During his State of the Economy lecture last week, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia touted Ghana as the first country in Africa to achieve cross-platform mobile money interoperability.

To give clarity to his claim, Dr. Bawumia said: "I should note that Ghana is the first country in Africa and one of the few in the world to achieve this type of interoperability between bank accounts and mobile wallets.”

Dr. Bawumia's claim, which clearly focuses on Ghana's acclaimed mobile money system, allows for payments to be done on multiple payment platforms. Ghana's payment platforms allow for real-time mobile money transactions between mobile money accounts regardless of the network (wallet to wallet), as well as between mobile money accounts and bank accounts (wallet and bank accounts).

It is worth mentioning that Ghana's mobile money system was launched in 2018.

Verification:

A 2020 report by GSMA, a renowned global mobile money market watcher, reviewed six leading mobile money markets in the world.

The countries reviewed were Ghana, Jordan, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Madagascar.

There have been reports which suggest that Tanzania and Kenya achieved mobile money operability before Ghana, but these reports are inaccurate.

The 2020 GSMA report and a 2018 press release by Kenya's Central Bank, sets the record straight.

Reviewing the state of Tanzania’s mobile money system, the GSMA's report gave a background and an update on the status of Tanzania’s mobile money system, which was limited to only mobile wallet to wallet at the time the report was written in 2020.

The GSMA report, in Appendix 4, which reviewed country to country statuses of mobile money, said of Tanzania: "In Tanzania, discussions about A2A (account to account or mobile wallet to wallet) interoperability began in 2012, with three key stakeholders playing a vital facilitation role: the IFC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Tanzania.

"Implementation commenced following approval from the Bank of Tanzania in 2013 and A2A interoperability launched commercially in 2014. This marked the first interoperable mobile money service between Mobile Money Payments (MMPs), with Tigo, Airtel, and Zantel enabling bilateral connections for cross-net P2P (Payment to Payment) transactions. Vodacom was the last to join the agreement and connected to each MMP bilaterally."

The 2020 report also captured how Tanzania was planning to initiate new regulations "requiring interoperability between MMPs and broader financial institutions, including banks, are set to transition providers to connecting centrally to the country's national Payment switch, the Tanzania Instant Payment System (TIPS) platform and is expected to launch in 2020."

Clearly, nearly two years after Ghana launched its unique mobile money interoperability, which included cross mobile money linkage with bank accounts, Tanzania was planning on how to integrate its mobile wallets with bank accounts.

It must be noted that in 2014, Tanzania however became the first country in Africa to introduce interoperability between rival mobile money services (wallet to wallet). The difference is that as at 2018, Ghana had already been implementing the MoMo interoperability on a full scale and facilitated by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) .

Kenya

Kenya's situation is even more straightforward. The air is cleared by a press release by the Central Bank of Kenya in April 2018.

The release announced Kenya's success in attaining a limited mobile money interoperability between wallet to wallet.

The Central Bank’s press release was emphatic in stating that Kenya's operability was only "wallet to wallet" without wallet and bank account linkage like it is in Ghana's case, which was also attained in 2018.



Confirmation of Ghana's cross-network interoperability (wallet to wallet, as well as wallet and bank accounts) is confirmed in Appendix 4 of the GSMA report.

Of the countries under review, Ghana was the only African country whose mobile money system was captured as having a "successful integration of banks, MMPs (Mobile Money Payments) and the national scheme card E-Zwich."

Conclusion:

From the above analysis, the GhanaWeb Factcheck desk finds Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s claim as true.

View his Timepath below:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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