The Growth of Digital Payments in Ghana (I)

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The Growth of Digital Payments in Ghana (I)

digital , 28-10-2019

Rushing to beat a business’ closing time is a customer pain, plain and simple – be it a Pay TV outlet or electricity vending station. Such pain points characterise many business payments in Ghana and the sub-region; across private and state-owned enterprises. For instance, Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is noted for its long queues arising from customer registrations and renewals. 

At the turn of this year, with the introduction of the NHIS mobile renewal service; the under two hundred NHIS district service points nationwide have grown overnight into millions, as subscribers’ phones now serve as payment points. Retail cash payments have been declining modestly. As customers switch paper notes and coins for cards, POSs and mobile wallets; payments are getting lighter. Cash-lite options are transforming how people shop, sell, and save. It enables transactions to be carried out online, over the phone, or in-store, quickly and securely. As of 2016, 37% of the value of all payments in Ghana were made digitally, with the rest in cash (United Nation’s Better Than Cash Alliance, September 2017). Increasingly, the business brand promise includes digital payments, even when not stated. In particular, the inability to accept Mobile Money does not excuse it. This is not outlandish; it’s fast gaining public consciousness.  

At every point, there are more digital payment services than the business can keep up with. In the fog of business marketing, employee management, regulation and compliance; it is easy for businesses to lose sight of the gunk that clogs the payment pipes. As payments become cash-lite; customers are getting dissatisfied with cash-only channels because, although cash is widely considered a necessary medium, it is not a sufficient one. The eatery down the street can expect the question: Do you accept Mobile Money; as often as they are asked about their daily menu. Fewer people are reaching for notes and coins in the check-out lines. 

Join us next week as we delve deeper into the growth of Digital Payments in Ghana.