Data published by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has revealed that the value of mobile money transactions has dropped by GH¢3.2 billion in December last year, less than one month after Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced in the 2022 budget of an electronic transfer levy (E-Levy).
According to the report, the value of transactions on the country’s largest payment platform decreased to GH¢82.9 billion in December from GH¢86.1 billion recorded in November 2021, representing a 3.8 percentage point decline.
Compared to before Mr. Ofori-Atta announced the introduction of the 1.75 percent E-levy, the value of mobile money transactions had just increased to GH¢80 billion in October from GH¢71.7 billion in September, that is more than 10 percentage points increase between the two months.
Besides this, the volume of transactions also shows there is some kind of apprehension from some customers in using the mobile money platform, as it recorded 300,000 increase in December, representing 0.75 percentage point growth from November. However, compared with September and October, there was a 700,000 increment in volume of transactions, which represents 1.74 percentage points growth.
This development indicates a change in consumer behaviour regarding the use of the payment platform after the 1.75 percent E-levy was announced.
It also sorts of confirms fears by many, including mobile money agents, that passing the E-levy will discourage the use of the payment platform by many customers, which will, in turn, end up collapsing their business, a concern several government officials have debunked.
For example, Minister of Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, at a town hall meeting on the E-levy in Koforidua, Eastern Region, said in response to concerns by the mobile money operators that: “I can confidently say to the MoMO operators that we are working to grow your business and not destroy it”.
And a Deputy Minister of Finance, John Kumah, admits that though the government’s research indicates there will be about a 24 percent attrition rate when the levy is passed, that will not lead to job losses. He made this claim when he appeared on Citi TV.