Various Mobile Money agent groups in Ghana have announced that beginning December 1, 2023 cash withdrawals will be limited to a maximum of GH₵1,000 per transaction.
This is a strategy, according to them, is primarily intended to secure fair compensation for their services and investment.
The decision, reached by the leadership of the four Mobile Money agent groups – Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG), Mobile Money Advocacy Group (MoMAG), and Northern MoMo Agents Association of Ghana (NoMAAG) and ABAG – is their way of address long-standing concerns regarding the level of commissions paid to agents.
“Our goal is to ensure fair compensation for the dedicated agents who play a crucial role in the Mobile Money ecosystem,” the agents stated in a jointly issued statement today.
The for groups emphasized that this measure is a temporary step, and they will continue to engage with service providers to seek a favourable adjustment to commission rates. However, if no satisfactory resolution is reached within the one-month period, they will be compelled to implement further action plans.
“We urge all stakeholders, including customers, to join us in mobilizing support for fair compensation to Mobile Money Agents,” the statement added. “Your cooperation and solidarity are pivotal in ensuring the sustainability of Mobile Money services in Ghana.”
The associations copied MTN Mobile Money Limited, AT Cash, Vodafone Cash, Bank of Ghana, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication Companies, and all media houses regarding the decision.
In May 2023, the Mobile Money agents demanded an increase in the fee cap to GH₵30 from the current GH₵10. They also requested a 50% share of cash-out fees as commissions.
Additionally, they expressed concerns about the delay in commission payments and the unilateral decision by service providers to switch to a two-payment cycle. Their grievances were directly main to MTN Mobile Money, which is by far the biggest mobile money platform in the country, raking in about 90% of revenue in that space. MTN has been
In response to agents’ concerns, MTN announced that the fee cap for cash out was going to be raised from GHS10 to GHS20 so that the agents’ commissions can be increased.
But following a widespread public outcry and an intervention by the Network of Communication Reporters, the Bank of Ghana stepped in and asked MTN to pull the breaks on the move.
Since the inception of mobile money more than 15 years ago, MTN has been giving agent only 0.05% of the 1% service fees they charge on all transaction, even though the agents invest their own money into the business.
Initially, the business was lucrative there very few agents and so they made good money from volumes. But now the industry is reporting over 500,000 agents across the country, which has depleted the value of that space in terms of earnings for agents.
So the agents feel it is time for MTN to adjust the rate of the commissions.
Mobile Money transactions in Ghana
Meanwhile, total value of mobile money transactions in the first eight months of 2023 reached a record GH₵1.190 trillion, according to the September 2023 Summary of Economic and Financial Data from the Bank of Ghana. This represents a huge jump from GH₵655.97 billion same period in 2022.
Industry players project that mobile money transaction value will cross GHS2 trillion by the close of this year, far above the size of Ghana’s economy, which stands at about GHS80 billion.
Experts think it is time for government to invite the big players in the mobile money industry to the table when national budgets are being drawn, because it has become sufficiently obvious that those players have what it take to create a bigger financial wheel than the government can create and their expertise are needed to improve the health of the economy.