Leveraging remittances to drive financial inclusion in rural Ghana

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Leveraging remittances to drive financial inclusion in rural Ghana

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Project Goal

To enhance the financial resilience and economic empowerment of remittance families through cost‑effective, digitalized flows and financial inclusion innovations.

Implementing Partner

Fidelity Bank Ghana in partnership with Viamo. Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited is one of the 23 commercial banks licensed by the Bank of Ghana. It offers diversified services to meet the banking and financial needs of low-income customers, small‑scale entrepreneurs and rural communities. Fidelity Bank Ghana will partner with Viamo, an international social enterprise connecting individuals to make better decisions via mobile technology.

Geographic Target

Ghana, and its remittance corridors from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and South Africa

Project Objectives

Cost Reduction

Contribute to reducing international remittance transfer costs to Ghana and increase access to – and use of – transparent and gender-responsive, low-cost services.

Digitalization

Accelerate the use of digital products and the digital payments ecosystem to support international remittances to Ghana

Financial Inclusion

Use international remittances to Ghana as a conduit for increasing financial inclusion and the resilience of remittance senders and recipients.

Formalization

Promote greater access and use of formal international remittance transfers to Ghana

Project Description

IFAD is partnering with Fidelity Bank Ghana under the PRIME Africa initiative to enable remittance recipients in high-migration rural areas to increase their share of remittances saved in formal bank accounts. Remittance recipients without proximity to a bank branch end up having to foot costly journeys to cash out their remittances. By targeting un(der) banked remittance recipients, Fidelity Bank will enable termination of remittances directly into a savings account. As a result, rural customers will incur lower costs and will save time and expenses as a result of not having to travel long distances. Fidelity Bank is uniquely positioned to support a sustainable shift from cash-based remittances to digital account based transfers in rural areas due to its network of 5,000 agents across the country.

Project Activities

Pioneering financial literacy content on remittances tested through an Interactive Voice Response messaging (IVR) solution offers the potential to engage vulnerable segments of the population, particularly rural people. The project combines the efficiency of technology, allowing customers to receive information at no cost anywhere they have signal, with the benefits of agents nearby. Fidelity Bank will build on the financial literacy content developed with UNCDF funding, mostly centered around savings and budgeting, and will add specific notions and knowledge on remittances.

Fidelity Bank will offer incentives for remittance customers to open formal accounts. It will also reach out to targeted remittance recipients through a marketing strategy that combines customized messaging, activation campaigns and community engagement in selected rural areas.

The project will support the implementation of a Remote Access Software (RAS) solution. The RAS will enable a gateway for cash remittance recipients to get the remittance transfer directly into Fidelity Bank’s savings account, specifically designed to ensure access to vulnerable segments through minimum compliant know-your customer requirements. By simply contacting the Fidelity Bank call centre, remittance recipients will be allowed to directly credit their remittance transfers into their account.

Fidelity Bank will ensure that agents, especially those located in targeted rural areas, support recipients to shift from cash-based remittances to direct deposits into saving accounts.

Expected Results

Supporting Sustainable Development Goals

Supporting Sustainable Development Goals