Last Updated on Thursday, 20 July 2023, 7:17 by Denis Chabrol
Guyanese are increasingly trusting the country’s electronic wallet system, Mobile Money Guyana (MMG), which allows people to send and receive cash or pay bills Online, according to MMG General Manager Bobita Ram.
She said 50 percent of GTT’s bill payments were now being done through MMG and more than 35 percent of water and electricity payments are being done through that system.
Ms Ram told the 38th Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organisations (CANTO) that wrapped up on Wednesday in Miami, Florida that previously Guyanese used MMG to pay bills but now increasingly more money is being retained in MMG wallets. “Now, we’re finding that more monies are staying in the wallets and so we’ve found that the trust is growing,” she said.
Key to building trust was ensuring that the MMG platform was secure and evidence that the system was working to pay bills. “They feel so much safer now with their wallets. We have actually gotten to the point where persons are leaving funds to the extent of kind of saving some of it,” she said.
She said GTT opted to develop a hybrid system that included the mobile wallet electronic payment system with money transfers as Guyanese are traditionally prefer to transact business in actual cash. That resulted, according to her, Guyanese actually withdrawing cash to transact business.
The MMG official said that with many persons working in remote areas of Guyana, the mobile wallet system was being used to pay rent directly to landlords and pay bills as well as send monies to their families. Small business are also using that mobile payments system to sell products via websites and Facebook. “The whole remittance world is evolving. It’s not just someone outside of the country sending money in but it’s the whole use of that money locally where we have been enabling that and we’ve been seeing quite a lot of growth,” Ms Ram said.
With MMG having more than 1,050 agents countrywide, just over 50,000 MMG wallet users and another 60,000 going to the agents, the MMG Chief told a panel discussion alongside represents of Visa that the system has been diversified which has seen more than one-third of GTT’s mobile top-ups are done from the wallets.
Initially, she said MMG piggy-backed on the well-recognised and trusted brand of GTT but now persons are voluntarily requesting the service. Additionally, she said MMG was now receiving payments on behalf of government. The include the Demerara Harbour Bridge; ferry service, pension payments, National Insurance Scheme, Guyana Revenue Authority and the Guyana Police Force.
MMG is also available to Digicel subscribers.