God Loves A Cheerful Giver

How many Ghanaian Christians would like to deposit their tithes and offering one time in church via mobile money?
I have been asking people this very question for a couple of weeks now and have received mixed responses. 
I have not conducted a wide enough survey to have conclusive results but my findings so far have revealed that Christians are more comfortable with tithes being transferred via mobile money than offering.
What is it about offering that makes people uncomfortable about transferring it digitally?
People feel something is missing when offering is transffered via a transaction. (Maybe a blessing is not received when money is sent over the phone.) 
Maybe there is a fear that people wouldn’t give money in church and lean on the “I sent it via mobile money” excuse.
In my opinion, the advent of mobile money provides churches with an opportunity to both make their congregation more generous and raise more funds.
I for one last month reserved a fixed amount of cash for offering and found that I gave more than the past months because I had planned for it. Previous months found me playing wheel of fortune with my offering amount. 
“Is it too small?” 
“I need to buy something after church so I can’t give that much”
“My money is finished so I can only give this amount”
This and many more are excuses I have made in the past due to my failure to plan for the month. As a result I end up not being a cheerful giver.

2nd Corinthians 9:6-7 MSG
2nd Corinthians 9:6-7 MSG

In 2nd Corinthians we are told about God’s view on giving. Whilst this is not specifically in an offering context it still applies. For the many blessings I received knowingly and unknowingly, I believe I owe the Lord a respectable token of appreciation in the form of an offering. In order for me not to disrespect that token I set it aside each month. 
Last month I was able to go through without needing to borrow from the offering account. I would like to however just set the money aside by transferring it into the churches account. Mobile money is preferred because it is more convenient.
So if my suggestion is implemented, will I stop giving offering at church?
 No. 
I however will view such offerings as top ups and will probably want to do it via the mobile money platform.
I must caution myself however that people may not view my not giving offering on Sunday kindly. Ghanaians in my view are very traditional in nature. (Even the idea of Bibles on smart devices do not appeal to some.)
Matthew 6:1
Matthew 6:1

The anonymity of mobile money is what appeals to me. Matthew 6 does a good job of giving us an idea of how God prefers we conduct our giving. Mobile money helps in this regard. Grace however is needed to carry one through a service amidst eyes that look to guilt trip or force you into throwing air into the offering basket to put your conscience and minds of onlookers at ease. 
(The hypocrisy that sometimes surrounds churches is staggering.)
Other benefits of conducting offerings via mobile moneyinclude:

  1. Security: offering sent via mobile money is not handled by ushers and there is a paper trail of transactions.
  2. Anytime Offering: Offerings can be given anytime and not restricted to Sunday.
  3. Environmental: Envelopes used for tithes and other offerings will be reduced thus saving envelopes expenditure and as a result reducing paper wastage.

So how many offerings should a church collect on Sunday? I for one believe in taking one offering at church and also not a fan of funds being raised during Sunday service. I will however speak on that tomorrow.
So as you keep it ONE HONDRED! What do you think about mobile money and church offering?

Mobile Money – The Future

I had the privilege of attending a presentation by Ebenezer Twum Asante, the CEO of MTN some weeks back on mobile money. Here are some of the highlights of the presentation that I want to bring to your attention:

  • 35% of airtime is bought through physical means. 65% through digital means.
  • MTN currently piloting near field technology .
  • Debit card/credit card will probably be needless in the future. 
  • Money may be retained in the space as opposed to cashing in and cashing out.
  • Mobile money alone is responsible for over 10% of deposits in the banking system.
  • Current research shows that the central bank should raise the limit allowed.
  • Transaction size growing including amount transacted.
  • Security is as safe as the banks.
  • Scams still major concern but mainly because of literacy level
  • Mobile money is better placed to handle money laundering since they are able to deal with it in real time. Alerts are sent once a transaction occurs that triggers suspicious activity. Central banks and security agencies are contacted in realtime. 

Makes me wonder why we are still using cheques.

(I just want to highlight that though this article is about mobile money, it’s not referring entirely to MTN. It involves the other networks as well. It’s just that MTN is privileged to have mobile money associated with its name.)
I started using mobile money actively in 2016. I had been registered but never saw the need to use it till I needed to pay someone and found it more convenient to use digital means.
Since then I have found it to be an excellent medium of moving money in Ghana and find it irritating that my bank hasn’t yet integrated it into their systems.
As a millennial, these developments are exciting because it breaks down the red tape associated with money transfer.
Ghana due to scams on credit cards and other fraudulent activities, have been sidelined and thus payment platforms such as PayPal are not easily accessible. This restricts e-commerce to a privileged few.
Mobile money is just the beginning of e-commerce in Ghana. Technology such as Slyde Pay and Express Pay facilitate everyday transactions at the touch of a button or screen expanding payment opportunities. 
Ghana is gradually moving towards a future where our smart phones become more than just communication devices. They will become our wallets, ticket or boarding pass holders and identity documents.
I foresee payroll being run on mobile money platforms soon. It may even be used as a means to provide credit since your service provider has an idea of your cellular history and a bit more. 
In this digital age where the future is uncertain, I urge businesses to begin adopting mobile money and e-commerce. That’s the future. With the way technology is moving I strongly believe that our laptops will shrink to become our cell phones. The power we hold now in our phones keeps growing. Hard drive space, processing power, camera specifications and more keep evolving each day. 
So let’s position ourselves for the future. I look forward to my church adopting mobile money for offerings 😬.
(I will definitely be blogging about mobile money in church. That will be such a hot topic)
Keep it One HONDRED!