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Internet Banking Transactions Grow by Over 85.7%

According to the latest economic and financial data from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the total value of these transactions reached GH¢47 billion, a significant increase from GH¢25.3 billion in the first four months of 2023.

There has been significant growth in the use of internet banking in Ghana, according to available statistics. The value of internet banking transactions in the first four months of this year has surged by over 85.7% compared to the same period last year.

According to the latest economic and financial data from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the total value of these transactions reached GH¢47 billion, a significant increase from GH¢25.3 billion in the first four months of 2023.

In addition to the rise in value, the volume of internet banking transactions also saw a substantial increase, climbing by 87.9%. The number of transactions grew from 3.85 million in early 2023 to 7.2 million in the same period of 2024.

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This growth indicates a rising preference for internet banking, as more customers opt for the convenience of online services over visiting physical bank branches. Notably, the value of transactions in April alone was 125% higher than in April 2023, jumping from GH¢6.2 billion to GH¢14 billion. The volume of transactions in April also increased by 76.4%, from approximately 1.03 million to 1.8 million.

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The widespread adoption of internet banking by almost all banks and deposit-taking institutions in Ghana has contributed to these impressive numbers. The demand for internet banking and other electronic payment services surged significantly in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which enforced lockdowns and social distancing measures. This situation highlighted the convenience of online banking to many who had no choice but to use the service, leading to continuous growth in transaction volumes and values.

Overall, electronic payment channels have seen steady growth. The BoG report shows that the total value of electronic payment transactions recorded by the Central Bank, from January to April this year was nearly one trillion cedis (GH¢933.8 billion), excluding cheque transactions, which are also cleared electronically.

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The report covers various services, including mobile money, direct credit, direct debit, gh-link, GhIPSS Instant Pay, e-zwich, and internet banking. Mobile money services dominated, with a transaction value of GH¢779.1 billion, accounting for over 83% of the total value of these transactions. This underscores the dominant role of mobile money in the market and highlights a shift towards electronic transactions, reducing cash transactions in the economy.

Ghana’s unbanked population, which was around 70% of the adult population for many years, has steadily decreased to less than 40% over the past two decades. This shift indicates that more transactions are now conducted through the banking system compared to the period before the year 2000.

Despite the increased flow of money through the banking system, the expected reduction in lending rates has not materialised. The average lending rate remains high at about 31.3%, according to the Central Bank but some businesses and individuals pay up to 50% interest per annum on loans, depending on the financial institution.

The emergence of more financial technology companies (FinTechs) in Ghana is expected to further boost the volume and value of electronic payment transactions. However, the issue of lowering interest rates remains tied to the fundamental economic conditions.

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