Switzerland Helps Expand Mobile Banking in Ghana

Press release, 18.04.2016

Switzerland is committing $5.6 million to spur access to affordable financial services and boost financial inclusion among Ghana’s low-income individuals, small-scale entrepreneurs, and rural populations.

Mobile Phone and Money

Despite progress, about 60 percent of Ghanaians are excluded from formal financial services, and those with access have limited types of services available.

The advisory project is supporting Ghana’s move towards a more digitized economy in three ways: by providing technical support to the industry as a whole, by offering an opportunity for IFC clients to engage directly with financial services, and by helping Bank of Ghana officials strengthen their ability to provide regulatory leadership in this area.

“Building market awareness and efficient networks among stakeholders is crucial to improving the opportunities for the development of the digital financial services market in Ghana,’’ said Nena Stoiljkovic, Vice President, IFC Global Client Services. “This important project will greatly improve access to and quality of financial services for the poor, farmers, and women entrepreneurs.’’

The project, which starts this month, will be implemented jointly over the next five years by the World Bank Group and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).

 “Thanks to innovative technologies, financial services will become cheaper and more accessible for customers, thus creating new opportunities for them. This allows mobile financial services providers to expand their business, creating a win-win situation,” said Ambassador Raymund Furrer, Head of Economic Cooperation and Development at Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

Switzerland is one of IFC’s largest development partners, with cumulative commitments of $366 million as of June 30, 2015. Its goal is to promote sustainable growth by strengthening economic and financial policy, improving urban infrastructure, supporting the private sector and entrepreneurship, boosting sustainable trade, and fostering climate-friendly growth.   

“We expect that the three-year project will have a direct impact on a multitude of beneficiaries in the digital financial services industry in Ghana, and ultimately for those currently financially excluded,’’  said Anita Bhatia, Director, World Bank Group Development Partner Relations.