Intelligently Manage Money with Mobilityby Fintech News Singapore February 9, 2021
Technology has been changing behaviour of people. Many are showing significance reliance on the Internet – mobile network in particular – more than ever. At the same time, technological innovations are led by such behavioural changes. Indeed, successful innovations need more than just insights. They are reflecting how people use technology, and thus change their habits.
Finance services industry is also evolving the way they are doing business, as many customers are turning online for their daily activities such as buying stocks, paying bills, or managing their savings and investments, etc. But more often than not, there is an increasing number of transactions are going peer-to-peer.
While these changes indicate the digital transformation along the existing fiscal regime, it also helps drive financial inclusiveness. World Bank has suggested that about 1.7 billion adults are without an account at a financial institution around the world.
“Because account ownership is nearly universal in high-income economies, virtually all unbanked adults live in developing economies,” the World Bank says. It is echoed by a Mastercard’s report published last year, showing that 15 countries account for over 60% of the global unbanked population, where 607 million people have a mobile phone, but do not yet have a bank account.
Boosting Financial Inclusiveness for the “Unbanked”
In the absence of proper banking services, people would usually go to some informal providers, including local lenders or unlicensed remittance services. While these services may allow these people – many are from low-income family – to enjoy some kind of financial services, they are exposed to serious risks without any proper legal production.
However, their easy access to mobile connection paves the way to the benefits of financial inclusion for them. As they go digital with their smart devices, these people can start building their financial foundation with the proper support of technology – that’s the mobile money.
Mobile money is not rocket science. As technology never stops to advance and improve user experience, this industry continues to boom. According to GSMA’s State of the Industry Report on
Mobile Money 2019, the mobile money industry had over a billion registered users, with close to US$2 billion in daily transactions.
“Economies are becoming increasingly dependent on digital technology, bringing to light the central role of mobile money in harnessing digital finance for sustainable development,” Mats Granryd, GSMA Director General, writes in the report. “Mobile money is accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and is contributing to the economic empowerment of individuals and communities including marginalised groups and businesses.”
Ghana Embraces Digital Transformation in Banking Sector
Ghana is one of the forerunners among emerging countries to embrace mobile money strategies. Following the guidance of the World Bank, the government has revised its own financial market regulations in a bid to be financially inclusive for its citizens.
Since then, the mobile money service industry in Ghana has developed rapidly, as many mobile network operators have joined the financial sector with their own special capacity.
The banking sector has very much been disrupted by the change in the landscape, where lenders not only face challenges from their peers, but also have to compete with carriers.
This is how people’s behaviour drives changes in conventional organisations, as banks must need to be innovative in the financial services to stay in the business.
Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) took up the challenges as early as 2018, where the lender kicked off its mobile money strategy.
Serving over six decades with more than 1.5 million monthly active banks accounts and some 180 brick-and-mortar branches, GCB believes that mobile money is inherently a banking service. It simply isn’t a concern for any carriers, in spite of how advanced their technology is.
GCB’s missions were simple. With mobile money strategy, the bank looked to expand its market share, changing Ghana’s people lifestyle cost-effective services, better banking experience and addition financial amenities. It also aimed to uplift the whole networks of Point-of-Service and Automatic Teller Machines.
Huawei Mobile Money Solutions Make Global Presence
Huawei’s solutions fit perfectly with GCB’s vision on the development of overall mobile money industry landscape. The tech giant provided GCB with G-Money, an updated mobile money platform which has since helped the lender build a new banking ecosystem, and now serves as the foundation of the bank’s digital transformation.
Upon an open banking framework, the solution has formed a new service ecosystem and linked further innovations of the business model. Its open cloud and micro-service architectures supports elastic scaling and continuous optimisation of service processes.
By commercialising the G-Money mobile money platform. GCB has gained 60,000 new customers in a single month — ten times its previous month’s figure. By April 2020, there were more than 700,000 mobile money users, marking a major success for the bank and the sector.
In fact, mobile money is no longer a product for just a few selected markets. Instead, it has become a global phenomenon, witnessing astonishing growth particularly in emerging markets and extending its reach to a wider range of customers.
As of 2019, mobile money has had 290 services across 95 countries, with 372 million active accounts. Many governments and financial institutions consider that as the path to financial inclusion in most low-income countries.
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