Two companies, Nsano Group and IT Consortium, were on Wednesday awarded a grant of $478,180 under the second phase of the Remittance Grant Facility (RGF) challenge.
The companies received various sums based on their project proposals and their ability to raise the 50 percent counterpart funding needed for their respective projects.
The beneficiary companies received a cheque of $250,000 and $ 228,180 respectively.
The first phase witnessed four companies being awarded a grant of $750,000.
They are Zee Pay Ghana Limited, which received US$125,000; PayInc Ghana Limited, which received US$225,000; ExpressPay Ghana Limited got US$200,000, while DreamOval Limited received $200,000.
Ghana, in collaboration with Switzerland, in May 2017 launched the RGF of $2.6 million to provide financial assistance to companies to develop innovative remittance products and services at a relatively low cost.
The Facility functions as a Challenge Fund, competitive financing grants to fund innovative ideas.
The project is financed by Switzerland through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and is managed by the KPMG International Development Advisory Services.
The project is to support companies to develop affordable and accessible products and services that extend the scope of remittances to the rural areas as well as benefit Ghanaians in the diaspora.
Mr. Sampson Akligoh, the Director of Financial Services at the Ministry of Finance, at a ceremony to present the cheques to the beneficiaries, said the objective of the facility was to reduce the cost of remittances and extend their reach to the rural poor as well as benefit Ghanaians in the diaspora.
He said the remittance market in the country faced challenges with a high cost of charges and accessibility.
To this end, Mr. Akligoh said the RGF provided grants to support the design and pilot testing of products and services that were affordable to target customers, encourage savings and investment.
He said the challenge would help address operational pitfalls associated with remittance flow channels into the country and to encourage innovative product and service development.
Mr. Daniel Lauchenauer, the Deputy Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana, said the initiative was to ensure that companies got funding to pursue projects that would help mitigate and increase challenges in the remittances market.
He said the partnership was necessitated by the long economic and diplomatic relationship with Ghana, adding that the Facility, when utilized effectively, would spur economic development in the rural areas and contribute to the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.
Kofi Owusu-Nhyira, the Chief Executive Officer, Nsano Group, a beneficiary company commended stakeholders for selecting them for the grants and pledged to continue use their platform to address challenges in the remittances space and build the livelihoods of the poor.
Romeo Bugyei, the Managing Director of IT Consortium, said their outfit would continue to use their platform to revolutionize the digitalisation space and help facilitate the transfer of money, especially to women pensioners.