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Vodafone Calls For Universal Mobile Wallet System To Drive Financial Inclusion

Vodafone Ghana is calling for a universal mobile wallet system in Ghana, to ensure that mobile money agents kept a single merchant wallet from which they can serve all mobile clients, regardless of which network.

Legal and External Affairs Director at Vodafone Ghana, Geta Striggner-Quartey, made the call during the second edition of the Mobile Technology for Development webinar in Accra.

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She stated that having a universal wallet system that makes it possible for customers to access funds from a single wallet at a mobile money agent’s shop, will significantly boost financial inclusion.

Under the current regime, mobile money agents keep separate wallets for MTN, Vodafone Cash, AirtelTigo Money, Zeepay, and G-Money, but with a universal wallet, they will be able to serve clients of all five platforms with just a single wallet.

Geta Striggner-Quartey believes such a system would broaden financial inclusion, bring relief to clients, increase volumes and frequency of monetary movements across networks, and strengthen the country’s drive towards a cash-lite/cashless society.

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“Government and policymakers must engineer policies that will cause a quantum shift and drive massive participation in the digital eco-system,” she stressed. “We encourage the government to lift barriers to significantly drive increased usage and acceptance across the board.”

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Vodafone Ghana, on its own, has taken the lead in waiving all charges on person-to-person (P2P) mobile money transfers from Vodafone Cash to wallets on all other networks.

The Vodafone Ghana Legal and External Affairs Director said the company has witnessed significant growth in the movement of money on the Vodafone Cash platforms since the transfer fees were waived.

She thinks more can be done, saying that government should, for instance, consider bringing down the cost of owning a mobile device in the country and partner with smartphone manufacturers and operators to make more smartphones reach nearly every adult.

“Additionally, the government can drive usage and adoption by waiving VAT on mobile devices,” she added.

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Touching on the effect of Covid-19, she noted that the pandemic has further widened the digital divide, and it would take a deliberate effort to make innovative technology solutions affordable and easily accessible to close the gap.

“This is the more reason why Vodafone Ghana’s Pan-African initiative, Africa Connected seeks to harness the power of technology to speed up our efforts to build a better, more resilient, inclusive, and green Africa,” she noted.

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