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The Ghana E-Levy: Impact on the Usage of Mobile Money

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posted on 2024-07-08, 16:41 authored by Marco CarrerasMarco Carreras, Awa DioufAwa Diouf, Hannelore Niesten

The taxation of digital financial services is on the rise in Africa. Ghana is one of the last countries to introduce it – aiming to raise financial resources for national development, and limit the informal economy. The introduction of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) in Ghana raised several protests and concern among the population and mobile money operators, and it is still doubtful whether the tax will raise adequate financial resources.

This paper estimates the impact of the E-Levy on mobile money usage and user perceptions. We use data from the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications on the usage of several mobile money services (sending, receiving, payment, withdrawals) at the national level and disaggregated by region, and nationally representative survey data collected by the ICTD on individuals and businesses. Our analysis also investigates the impact of the E-Levy on tax revenue, with data provided by the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Findings reveal that, despite a short-term decrease in mobile money usage, the E-Levy has had a positive impact in the long term, particularly with respect to payment transactions to formal merchants. The findings from the representative survey show that there is a lack of knowledge regarding the E-Levy's design details across all regions, indicating a need for improved awareness. Finally, our analysis shows that revenue from the E-Levy has been far below initial projections, raising questions about its ability to raise financial resources for national development.

History

Publisher

Institute of Development Studies

Citation

Carreras, M.; Diouf, A. and Niesten, H. (2024) The Ghana E-Levy: Impact on the Usage of Mobile Money, ICTD Working Paper 201, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/ICTD.2024.059

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ICTD Working Paper 201

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  • VoR (Version of Record)

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Series paper (non-IDS)

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© Institute of Development Studies 2024

Language

en

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International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD)

Pagination

65pp

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    International Centre for Tax and Development

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