Ghana: Payment Systems and Services Act to Boost Digitisation Processes --Governor, BoG

The Payment Systems and Services Act would help create an enabling environment for the on-going digitisation processes in the economy, Dr Ernest Addison, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana has said.

The Act, passed in March this year and assented to in May, is part of a broader strategy by the Bank of Ghana to create an enabling regulatory environment for convenient, efficient and safe retail payments and funds transfer mechanisms.

Speaking at the opening session of the 26th Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) Africa Regional Conference in Accra yesterday, he said the implementation of the Act would help liberalise the country's payment system further and allow for the entry of non-banks, direct licensing of financial technology companies (fintechs) by the Bank of Ghana, and ultimately promote financial inclusion to facilitate electronic means of payment.

Dr Addison said digital innovation was creating unprecedented opportunities for Africa to grow its economy, create jobs and transform people's lives.

"New technologies and business models are opening alternative pathways to economic growth in emerging markets, offering opportunities to reshape our lives and improve economic growth," he said.

Dr Addison lauded the government's commitment to formalise the economy through digitisation, anchored on leveraging technology to promote economic efficiency and inclusiveness for accelerated development and poverty reduction.

This drive, he said, had seen the roll-out of several digital initiatives such as, the digital property addressing system, the national biometric ID cards which will be linked to government agencies to help ease identification processes and promote integrity and efficiency in business transactions.

Dr Addison said the Central Bank recognised the important role digital innovations play in creating a financially inclusive economy, and was therefore collaborating with stakeholders including telecommunication companies and fintechs to digitise the financial landscape and deepen financial inclusion.

In collaboration with payment service providers, financial technology companies have designed innovative products and services to promote digital savings, lending and investments to unbanked customers at affordable costs.

Some of these products and services include online payment platforms, mobile banking services, quick response (QR) codes, money transfer services, deployment of point of sale (PoS) devices, termination of inward remittances into mobile wallets, and agency banking. More recently, mobile money processes have been integrated with the interbank payment systems infrastructure.

Dr Addison called for the collaboration and commitment of all stakeholders to leverage on digital technology to enhance development.

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