The question of who inherits your mobile money account balance when one dies must have been the concern of many Ghanaians. The expansion of the mobile money service to offer even more value apart from the initial ease of sending and receiving money has made it become the most patronised money transfer service in Ghana. The mobile money service now offers a wide range of services, including bill payment, shopping, insurance, savings, investments, and even loan services.
More Ghanaians now enjoy the service much better, thanks to these other services. The loan option offered by MTN is one of such vital services Ghanaians love and has made a handful of people appreciate the benefit of keeping money in their mobile money wallets, thanks to the quarterly investment interest offered by MTN. AirtelTigo also recently introduced an insurance and retirement package via the service.
Several people, I have personally interacted with, far from what I earlier mentioned instead prefer using the service only when they need to make a transaction.
Thus, they are hesitant to keep any money in their mobile money wallets, talk less of expecting interest. They would instead do their transactions (cash in and cash out), leaving their wallet empty. When told about the advantages of leaving some money in their wallets, (like the quarterly interest added to the amount), some of these people insist it is a ploy — a mere gimmick by the telecommunication networks to get to keep their money if they happen to die.
The scepticisms of people have made us take a closer look at the unexpected and whether the telecom service provider would inherit the deceased account or a relative can claim the balance. Someone asked:
- We are being advised not to share our MoMo PIN with people, so if one dies without actually revealing the pin to any relative or a guardian, how do they get access to the account of the deceased?
“Who inherits your mobile money account balance if you die?”
In this post, I will get you the most appropriate answer to the question, throwing light on how to retrieve such monies if you find yourself in such a situation. The post is based on verified facts from the telecommunication networks as well as Ghana’s new law governing mobile money operations.
I will start by looking at the conditions under which a mobile money account will be deactivated.
Conditions for deactivating a mobile money account
Your mobile money can be deactivated for various reasons. Ghana’s new law governing the mobile money service requires that accounts of dormant mobile money customers be blocked or disabled. Thus, if you do not make any transaction with your mobile money account for 12 months, your account will be blocked or deactivated; you cannot withdraw cash, but your account can receive cash.
To rectify this, you need to visit a service centre to validate yourself with your ID. However, if your account remains dormant for another 12 months (making it 24 months), the law requires that your account be permanently closed.
Where does the money in a deactivated mobile money account go?
The telcos are mandated by the law to transfer any money in the deactivated mobile money account to a bank, to be kept there for three more years. After this period, if nobody claims the money, it is then transferred to the Bank of Ghana. However, within these five years (12 months + 12months + 3 years) of holding the money before finally transferring it to the Bank of Ghana.
How to claim the money in a deactivated mobile money account.
You can go to any service centre of your mobile money service provider and make your claim on the money where your account will be reactivated to enable you to make redrawal.
If the account owner is deceased, the next of kin whose name the deceased provided during his/her mobile money registration can make a claim.
How to claim the mobile money account balance of a dead person’s account.
As the next of kin, you would need the death certificate of the deceased and then probate, which can be obtained at the births and deaths registry. However, if the person making a claim is not the next of kin but the one in charge of administering the assets of the dead person, a letter of administration is needed. The letter of administration will disclose who the deceased chose to inherit his property, who will receive the money.
After the needed documents are presented, the process to get you the money will start — which is mostly a matter of verifying the document presented and giving you the money as soon as it is ascertained to be in order.
Therefore, if you happen to die, your next of kin or a person with a letter of administration can inherit your mobile money account balance. If your next of kin also dies before the money can be retrieved, well, I believe your next of kin will also have their next of kin — painstakingly go through the process.
That being said, Mobile Money providers have no share in your mobile money account balance in case you die.
Written by iChris
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