Data released by the Bank of Ghana showed that consumer appetite for internet banking has started to slow.
An analysis of the Economic and Financial Data Summary (January 2022) indicates that the growth rate of Internet banking services – both in value and volume – slowed in December compared to the previous two months in the last quarter of the year. ‘year.
Although there was a nominal increase in transaction value (from GH¢5.7 billion to GH¢5.9 billion), the growth rate fell to 3% in December from 13% and 14% recorded in October and November 2021 respectively. The same trend was observed in the volume of transactions, where the growth rate registered a decrease to 10% in December against 11.3% in November.
This, among other reasons, suggests a change in customer behavior that reflects negative sentiments towards the use of the online banking platform to conduct transactions, following the announcement by the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta in the 2022 budget last November of the planned introduction of a 1.75% electronic levy. (E-levy), which will be applied to all electronic payments made within the financial system.
Commenting on the development, a bank manager from a state-owned bank – who pleaded anonymity as he is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter – confirmed the analysis of this document, saying that since As the Minister of Finance announced the E-direct debit, customers started showing some apprehension towards using the bank’s online banking platforms, even though the law to pass the direct debit is not yet in force.
He said he has been asked by some customers and friends what other alternatives exist for them to avoid eTax once Parliament passes it – adding that current customer behavior sends a strong signal that the implementation of the tax will erode the hard work of the banks. put in place to encourage the use of digital platforms.
Also commenting on the development, banking consultant Dr Richmond Atuahene concurred with the assertion that the decline in online banking growth may, among other factors, be linked to customer disaffection and disapproval of e-direct debit.
“Other factors can also be counted among the reasons for the decline in online banking growth. But once the analysis shows a sharp decline in December compared to November, it’s obvious that the e-tax announcement has something to do with it. This means that customers are not ready to bear this cost, and so they have started to reduce their use of online platforms. We cannot completely exclude this fact,” he said in an interview with the B&FT.
Online banking isn’t the only platform to see a backlash from customers since the budget reading, as the same data shows that the biggest payments platform, mobile money, has also recorded a decrease in transaction value of GH¢3.2 billion in this direction. even December – which represents a drop of 3.8 percentage points.
Before the Minister of Finance announced the introduction of a 1.75% electronic tax in November, the value of mobile money transactions had just increased to GH¢80 billion in October from 71.7 billion GH¢ in September; and that’s more than 10 percentage points increase between the two months.
In addition, the transaction volume also shows some apprehension on the part of some customers regarding the use of the mobile money platform, as it recorded an increase of 300,000 in December, a growth of 0, 75 percentage point compared to November. However, compared to September and October, there was an increase of 700,000 in transaction volume, representing a growth of 1.74 percentage points.