In June of this year, the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) launched a new mobile application “GhanaPay” which was supposed to integrate banking services “GhanaPay”. The app was launched on the iOS and Google Play store.
Archie Hesse, CEO of GhiPSS stated that the initiative was to give the banks “an opportunity of a platform to issue mobile money accounts to customers and individuals that can’t secure a banking account for one reason or the other.“
Months later, after the fanfare has died down, there’s not much to show that the GhanaPay has had its desired effect. We took a minor poll to see if our readers are using the GhanaPay app. Here are the results:
Although this poll is not scientific or as widespread, there’s still general observation to suggest that the GhanaPay app hasn’t taken off
Why Would I Need Another App?
Currently, most bank users either use their banks’ respective bank apps or a fintech app when doing digital transactions. When doing mobile money transactions, users tend to use their respective telco apps like MTN or Vodafone.
With that being said, there really isn’t a need for a consumer to download the GhanaPay app and use it. Most banks already have the ability to allow users to link their mobile money wallets to their banks to conduct transactions.
Fintech apps also offer features including bill payments and mobile money which the GhanaPay app also claims to do.
Mobile Money Is Still More Convenient
In order to use the GhanaPay app, users will can register if they have a bank account or not.
But there isn’t strong incentive for a small business owner to sign up for a bank account because of most of the banks’ cumbersome KYC process.
Registering for a mobile money wallet just requires a smartphone with a SIM card, a recognised ID, and a small fee to start using mobile money as compared to registration for a bank account which requires lengthy paper forms.
Also, as stated earlier, most banks allow users to link their mobile money wallets to their bank accounts so there would be no reason to use another app for that purpose.
The Regulator and Banks Should Focus On Open Banking And Better KYC Processes
Right now, the Ghana Pay app just seems like another “app”. There isn’t enough incentive for consumers to download another app to do transactions that can be done on the current crop of fintech applications they already use.
Instead, the focus should be put on the infrastructure for open banking and a better KYC process for users. The Bank Of Ghana has a roadmap for offering the aforementioned features but it may need to advertise these services down the road.
An easier flow for users to switch bank accounts keeping their data and onboarding easily to a new account would help banks maintain customers and increase competition.
Right now, it’s too early to say that the GhanaPay app is dead on arrival but without much incentive and features which can easily be replicated on bank and fintech apps, there’s really no point in using the GhanaPay app.