A lot of talk has been going on about how soon it will be till Ghana gets access to payments options which work outside of Ghana. In mid 2013, PayPal opened up its services to a host of African countries, Ghana excluded. We sobbed.
Amidst the various campaigns and petitions, PayPal seems a bit too busy to care about the cry of Ghanaians. However, also in Ghana is a budding payments processing platform, MPower Payments platform, jointly run by Encodev Labs and SMSGh.
MPower has come a long way over the years, helping Ghanaians to pay for services and send money across the various mobile money systems in Ghana. Back story: MTN first introduced Mobile Money in Ghana, then Tigo and Airtel followed. Just about a month ago, Vodafone introduced Vodafone Cash and Airtel introduced its Tap-To-Pay systems. Considering that these 3 telcos are powering the mobile money system in Ghana, MPower Payments’ presence helps customers to send mobile money across these networks easily.
Another major helpful feature that MPower supports is to top up your MPower wallet via a debit card. This has been an issue since most of the banks charge transactional fees when you make such top-ups. And now it’s free! About two weeks ago, MPower announced to customers that topping up via your debit card is now free.
This has been received favourably, and helps make the barrier to adoption almost non-existent. In effect, you can now send mobile money to another mobile money subscriber for free even if you’re not a registered mobile money user. This initially attracted a charge of 5%.
Later last week, the CTO of MPower Payments made an announcement which will excite most developers who use MPower Payments – they now have Slack integrations. So much has been talked about Slack’s success and secret sauce and it’s ease of use, I need not say more. This integration will make it way easier to track payments, without having to comb through SMS’s and emails.
For a product that needs a lot of user friendliness and education in the customer journey to be adopted, these subtle but important changes will surely increase its adoption now that Ghana doesn’t have any “internationally acclaimed” payments options in place. A good one from the folks at MPower Payments.