Mobile Money agents in the country are calling on banks to allocate them with bullion vans that will convey their cash to the banks at the close of business every day.
This call comes amid rampant armed robbery attacks on mobile money agents in parts of the country, particularly the recent one in Kumasi, in which a whopping GHC200,000 was stolen.
President of the Mobile Money Advocacy Group of Ghana (MMAGG), Maame Nyarkoa Boatey-Addo made the call at a Lunch and Learn session organized by Zeepay Ghana for mobile money agents in Accra.
She noted that agents often get attacked while they are on their way to the banks to deposit the day’s sales, and for that she thinks banks should collaborate with the mobile money operators to provide bullion vans to go for the cash from agents points daily to curb the robbery.
“The same way the banks send bullion vans to various institutions like churches, shops, schools and companies to pick cash, they should extend the same gesture to us to reduce the robbery attacks with face,” she said.
Maame Nyarkoa argued that the GHC200,000 stolen in the recent armed robbery attack on a mobile money agent in Kumasi, is way more than what some banks could boast of in a day, so the banks would have to see mobile money agents as key stakeholders and provide them with bullion van service.
Meanwhile, Zeepay has assured the agents of supplying customized kiosks fitted with cameras, panic buttons, alarm systems, cooling systems and GPS tracking devices to keep them safe as they work. The company is bring in an initial 100 of that kiosks but plans to extend it across the country over time.
The MMAGG President said the agents are excited about the secured and safe kiosks Zeepay would be providing soon because it will help agents call for help easily when they are in distress, particularly on the job.
Touching on the violation of MTN’s “No ID, no cash out” policy by some agents, Maame Nyarkoa said full-time mobile money agents would never commit such breaches, but the part-times agents who only go into the business to while away time as they wait to return to school, are the ones who do anything just to make money.
She noted that fraudsters don’t only target mobile money subscribers but agents as well, so the full-time agents know too well to violate a policy designed to prevent fraud.
MMAGG boasts of some 3,000 active members across the country, but are also in touch with some 30,000 plus agents for whom they do advocacy.
Meanwhile, Zeepay Ghana has committed to providing safety and security for mobile money agents across the country, particularly in this era of rampant armed robbery attacks on agents.
CEO of Zeepay, Andrew Takyi Appiah told TechGh24 that “we are bringing an initial 100 customized kiosks into the country for selected agents across the country – these kiosks have cameras, panic buttons, alarms, cooling systems and GPS tracking on them.”
According to him, Zeepay has critically examined what is wrong in terms of the security of agents, and so they felt the need to invest in the customized kiosks to salvage the situation.
Over 150,000 mobile agents across the country, Zeepay works actively with 14,000. But because its platform is interoperable and universal, it allows Zeepay wallet subscribers to be able to do transactions at all 150,000 agent points without stress.
Andrew Takyi Appiah said the plan is to deploy the customized kiosks across the entire ecosystem so that mobile money agents will feel safe.
“We are still in the war room designing features and platforms to better serve our agents because we see them as key stakeholders. So lets start with the 100 kiosks for now and we will see how it goes in terms of improving our offerings for the security and safety,” he said.
He assured the mobile money agents that Zeepay is committed to investing heavily into the ecosystem to ensure all stakeholders have comfort and work effectively to prove that Ghanaians can own the economy and run it efficiently.
Touching on a recent call by a Vodafone Ghana official for there to be a universal merchant wallet system in Ghana, he said “tomorrow happened yesterday because Zeepay is already doing a universal platform, where one Zeepay merchant wallet is able to pay into wallets on all other networks.”
“That is the power of our platform – we started universal wallet system from day one – practically, we were the first interoperable platform in the country – and that drives financial inclusion which is critical to Ghana’s the cash-lite society drive,” he said.
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