An Economist and political risk analyst, Dr. Theophilus Acheampong, has asserted that mobile money usage in the country has seen a downward trajectory since the e-levy was announced by the government.
According to him, data from the Bank of Ghana’s quarterly statistics (i.e the Summary of Economic and Financial data) suggests that mobile money patronage has dropped significantly in the past three months.
“If you look at November, when the idea was originally proposed, the actual value of MoMo was about 86 billion Ghana Cedis. In December of last year, it dropped to 82.9 billion, and in January of this year it is actually, 76.2 billion.
“So over the course of about three months, we almost see a 10 to 12% reduction in the value of the transactions that are taking place.”
He explained that this is some sort of a reaction by consumers towards the policy, adding that the levy could largely derail the digitization agenda.
“In the short to medium term, the value and the volume of transactions will come down as consumers adjust to it and we would see a lot more cash now being utilized within the system which would serve as a disincentive to the whole digitalized inclusion agenda,” he said.
He further emphasised that though the levy is not needed, government must find ways to ensure that it doesn’t derail the digital inclusion agenda.
In view of this, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey, called on the government to devise a measure to disincentivise Ghanaians from cashing out from their mobile money wallets.
According to him, should the volume of electronic money transactions continue to decrease, as has been witnessed since the introduction of the E-levy, the purpose of the levy will be defeated.
He has, therefore, called on the government to discourage Ghanaians from cashing out from their electronic wallets by revising the E-levy law.