Academics writing a paper entitled “Control of fraud on mobile money services in Ghana: an exploratory study” asked staff working for telcos, mobile money agents, banks, regulators and customers what they believe to be the causes of mobile money fraud in Ghana. Their chief conclusion was stark:
It was observed that majority of the participants (almost 60 per cent) placed the cause of mobile money fraud at the feet of poor remuneration of employees and mobile money agents. They complained that the salaries and commissions given to them are not enough, thus, to survive the hardships in the economy, they dabble in illicit acts to supplement what they are paid.
Weak internal controls were also blamed.
Some of the mobile money operators and their agents operate with very lax internal systems and weak financial controls with poor supervision from the top management level to the lowest ranked employee.
The study also found that the other reasons for fraud include porous IT systems and inadequate fraud training for agents and operator staff. The researchers also called for an extension of laws to better address mobile money fraud.
Not all the findings were negative, with some credit being given for the efforts made to punish identified fraudsters. The Bank of Ghana was also praised for the guidelines it had issued.
“Control of fraud on mobile money services in Ghana: an exploratory study” was written by Isaac Akomea-Frimpong, Charles Andoh and Agnes Akomea-Frimpong of the University of Ghana and Yvonne Dwomoh-Okudzeto of the University of Macerata, and was published in the May 2019 edition of the Journal of Money Laundering Control. You can find the full text here.