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Why Mobile Money growing in Ghana, Kenya better than Nigeria—Ghanaian expert

Just like in Kenya, the first success story of Mobile Money (MM), Ghana is gradually picking up lead in West Africa ahead of Nigeria in the expansion and wider use of MM.

A Ghanaian telecoms expert who spoke to Business Hilights correspondent at the Seme border post said “When we wanted to introduce the scheme, we studied the African market and understood that if MM is driven by telecoms, a lot will be achieved than when it is in the hands of a special group”.

The expert who pleaded anonymity said “It will be very difficult as it is now in Nigeria for telecoms to give their best in a money making scheme when they are technically schemed out it by design”.

He explained “In Ghana, telecoms like MTN Ghana is doing well and recently trained subscribers on how to install application on their phone to combat mobile money fraud”.

The expert who works with one of the leading telecoms operators in Ghana said “In Ghana, government has given special import terms and condition for importing telecoms equipment in other to deepen investments in the sector”.

Business Hilights recalls that critical telecoms equipment are among the 41 items restricted by the current forex access policy of the federal government.

Only recently, the Ghana news Agency (GNA) reported that MTN Ghana in collaboration with E-Crime Bureau hosted a workshop on the theme: “Mobile Money prospects in Ghana and role of the media in countering mobile money fraud.”

Speaking at the event, Mr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, Principal Consultant, e-Crime Bureau, said “the MM sector is experiencing different fraud schemes and other security breaches and the weaknesses in national identification systems and SIM registration lapses were being exploited to perpetrate the fraud by cyber criminals”.

In his further submission, he noted that evidence suggested that, social engineering tricks were being employed to defraud MM subscribers, adding that some MM fraud schemes included customer driven fraud, agent driven fraud and other fraud schemes.

In Ghana, research unveiled that criminals target MM subscribers through fake text messages, or calls on MM promotion, fictitious e-mails purporting to be associated with a particular MM transaction, impersonation for fraudulent MM transfers, among others.

At the end of the training bankrolled by the telecoms giant, subscribers were advised to among other things, not to send money to any person in anticipation to win MM award, and to verify messages requesting for the transfer of money from MM service providers.

Earlier in his remarks, the General Manager, Mobile Financial Service at MTN Ghana, Mr Eli Hini, said MTN recognised the seriousness of the menace and “we are taking steps to ensure we educate our customers.”

He noted that the workshop was aimed at creating the understanding and awareness on Mobile Money operations, bridging the knowledge gap on MM operations among media personnel and identifying a common security, fraud and money laundering challenges confronting MM operations.