Vodafone Ghana has announced that its Vodafone Cash platform will be shut down for 12 hours, between 9pm tonight, August 7 to 9am on Monday, August 8, 2022 for a schedule maintenance to further improve the service.
This is the second time the telco is undertaking this exercise this month. The first one was also for 12 hours between the night of August 3 and the morning of August 4, 2022.
In a circular to customers, Vodafone said during the period of the shutdown, customers will not be able to use the service, for which it apologised to customers.
Vodafone Cash is the only mobile money platform in Ghana the gives free money transfers across all networks, no matter how much one transfers.
It started the award-winning free transfer innovation since the Covid-19 outbreak just like all the other telcos did. But Vodafone has since improved it further.
Free transfers used to be for only GHS100 per day for on-net (Vodafone to Vodafone) transfers. Then as time went on, Vodafone added GHS100 off-net transfers (interoperability) per day.
While other telcos were cutting back on free transfers of GHS100 off-net, Vodafone rather took it a notch higher by making the transfer of all amounts to all networks totally free of charge, and has maintained it since.
This gesture cost Vodafone money, particularly the off-net transfers, because there is an interoperability fee to be paid to the custodian of the interoperability platform, Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlements Systems (GhIPSS), which Vodafone now pays on behalf of its customers.
Industry experts have said that the gesture is not sustainable, but it is still not clear if Vodafone will maintain it in perpetuity or suspend it at some point.
The upside, however, is that the free transfer innovation has propelled Vodafone Cash to weak number two on the market after starting late and trailing for a while.
Meanwhile, Vodafone Ghana has recently been in the news since the Vodafone Group made it public that it was selling its 70% stake in the company to Telecel Group.
National Communications Authority (NCA) has since come out to say the sale failed to meet regulatory requirement, while the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has also said Telecel could not be allowed to buy majority shares in Vodafone Ghana because it was found to lack the technical and financial capacity.
Telecel has since responded to those comments from the Ghana government in a press statement saying it was to re-engage the NCA.
The company has also said it is ready with cash to pay for the majority shares in Vodafone Ghana, and are also all set to invest at least US$500 million in the network over the next three years.