MTN Mobile Money has become the fastest growing method of receiving World Remit international money transfers in Ghana, says UK-based international money transfer firm, WorldRemit.
WorldRemit is the global leader in international transfers to Mobile Money, with connections to 32 services in 24 countries across Europe, Africa and Asia.
It noted that the number of transfers received on mobile accounts is growing by 13% per month on average, as Ghanaians abroad discover the convenience of sending instantly to MTN Mobile Money.
Countries sending the most money to Ghana include the United Kingdom, USA and Australia.
The increased use of Mobile Money in remittances is also driving a new phenomenon called 'micro remittances', where people send smaller amounts, more often.
Hitherto, Ghanaians abroad sent money in bulk either through traditional money transfer channels, or by air through messengers to be disbursed among a number of people.
But now MTN mobile money has become a convenient channel for sending small amounts directly to the target recipients.
Mobile Money is most commonly used for transfers of less than GHC300, with the average WordRemit sender transferring around three times per month.
"Ghanaians are taking advantage of low-fee, instant mobile transfers to send money for specific purposes, right when it is needed. In the past, people often sent a single lump sum, once a month. Today, with MTN Mobile Money, they can help with unexpected bills or family expenses whenever they arise," said Alix Murphy, Senior Mobile Analyst at WorldRemit.
"Instant messaging also has a role to play in driving these type of micro-remittances. Ghanaians are constantly talking to their family and friends abroad and many of those discussions are about their personal finances," added Ms Murphy.
Speaking about the partnership, Eli Hini, General Manager, Mobile Financial Service at MTN said: “The ability to instantly receive international remittances from around the world is another reason why Ghanaians are increasingly using MTN Mobile Money to address their day-to-day financial needs.
"WorldRemit’s service extends the usefulness of mobile money beyond our borders to reach the entire global Ghanaian community. With more than 40,000 of our agent points and more than 600 Partner bank ATMs across Ghana, the service can be enjoyed by all MTN Mobile Money customers. It is instant, totally secured and very convenient."
WorldRemit was established in 2010 and sends more than 400,000 transfers worldwide every month. A third of WorldRemit money transfers are received via Mobile Money.
The company began offering transfers to MTN Mobile Money in Ghana in January 2013. It works with Airtel, Tigo and Vodafone mobile money platforms in other countries but it is yet to start services on those platforms on Ghana.
Mobile Money technology is seen as a major factor in extending financial services to people who have not previously had access. In Ghana, about 70% of adults are either unbanked or underbanked, whereas 91% have access to a mobile phones.
Ghanaians living overseas send more than US$2 billon home every year, according to the World Bank.