Talks are ongoing to have telecommunication operators in Ghana and other African countries certified in the usage of mobile money by the GSMA’s Mobile Money Certification – a platform that brings about safer, more transparent and more resilient financial services for millions of mobile money users.
Gerald Rasugu, the Director – sub-Saharan Africa of GSMA, explained that the GSMA introduced the mobile money certification initiative, which is an industry-wide initiative, to instil more confidence in the mobile money system.
In Ghana, Vodafone, MTN and AirtelTigo are yet to receive the GSMA certification for mobile money services they are offering; however, the industry body maintains that the process is still ongoing and within 12 months time the certification could happen.
“We are getting mobile money operators to be certified, and by being certified it means you have met the principles of your certification: essentially, you are focused on providing good quality of service; you are focused on providing a good platform, issues of data protection and fraud have been considered.
“When you do that, you provide confidence to the customer and to businesses and government,” he told the B&FT at the GSMA Mobile 360 Series West Africa that came off in Abidjan last week.
Furthermore, he stated that GSMA has been working with operators to get them certified, and part of that is quality of service. “They need to fulfil a number of parameters, and even today we are working with the operators in Ghana to get them certified.
“It is a process, so what we actually do is give you time to respond to the questions; we analyse, and then we send somebody to the ground who then confirms. It is not enough just saying ‘I meet this’; we want documented evidence and all of this involves process; it is not an overnight thing, it takes time.”
Mr. Rasugu indicated that the certification process has the blessings or buy-in from the Bank of Ghana, and added that the BoG’s requirements are even higher than those of GSMA.
The certification, which is issued by Alliances Management – an independent certification management company – will now serve as a platform to enhance trust and empower consumers to make more informed choices about their financial services. It will also encourage mobile money adoption and advances in financial inclusion.
With several mobile money service providers in Ghana – including MTN, AirtelTigo, Vodafone, GN Mobile Money, Zeepay and others – Mr. Rasugu noted that the potential to collaborate, innovate and integrate with business partners will be enhanced.
Ghana’s mobile money space has seen consistent growth since it began almost a decade ago. In 2017, the total value of transactions stood at GH¢156billion – representing a 98.5 percent increase from the 2016 value of GH¢78.5billion.
With almost a billion transactions in volume, representing a 78.4 percent rise from 550 million in 2016, the total balance on float has increased by 84.6 percent from GH¢1.3billion in 2016 to GH¢2.3billion in 2017.
In Cote d’Ivoire, MTN and Orange have already been certified by GSMA.
The GSMA Mobile Money Certification, which is a three-year certificate, comprises eight principles and over 300 detailed criteria covering issues such as finance, Anti-Money Laundering (AMT) and fraud, people, operation, security, transparency, customer service and data-privacy. These eight principles are further divided into sub-principles.
The certification process includes self-assessment, remedy non-compliance, application, off-site and on-site assessment, and certificate issued.