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Business News of Sunday, 12 June 2016


Bank of Ghana to review Mobile money regulations in July

The Bank of Ghana has hinted of plans to review its regulations on Mobile money transactions in the country by July this year.

According to the Central Bank, this is to allow it address the numerous concerns raised over the implementation of the current Electronic Money Issues (EMI) Guidelines designed specifically for mobile money and all types of electronic money.

The move has also become necessary following recent comments by various industry players on some lapses in the current laws which they believe has led to the overlapping functions of the telecommunications and banking sectors.

The Head of Payment Systems at the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Settor Amediku who was speaking at a session during this year’s African Mobile and ICT Expo, MOBEX, justified the review and called for more stakeholder engagements during the process. “With just one year of the implementation of the 2015 guidelines, July this year, we are going to review the guidelines again based on some of the challenges that we have identified.

So when the time comes we would expect that all stakeholders make an input to improve the existing guidelines,” he stated.

Bankers concerned over current regulations

Some practitioners in the banking industry have expressed concern over the current legislations.

They argue that even though the existing rules spell out some modalities for the operation of mobile money transactions, they believe the Central bank could do more. For the Managing Director of Cal Bank, Frank Adu, he wants the central bank to clarify issues in order to facilitate the process of achieving financial inclusion in the country. “I am calling for a policy direction…I think that too many things are left to develop in this country without dimension.

Look, today, one of the telcos is advertising a loan product,” he said. Meanwhile Banking consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong believes the Bank of Ghana ought to develop regulations that will keep the central bank abreast of dynamic trends in technology.

“…But moving forward, I think the BoG must revise the regulation and look at it again in terms of the actual figures that are involved in all transactions,” Nana Otuo Acheampong stated.

Bank of Ghana positions itself to face digital age

Following comments on the possible turn around in the finance industry to give way to financial technology or digital financing, Dr. Amediku also gave indication that the Central Bank will work to position itself to meet the dynamic needs of the industry.

For the CEO of Edel Technology Consulting Ethel Coffie, “The Bank of Ghana needs to recognize in 10-20 years it might be a regulator of technology companies rather than banks.” The African Tech Startups Funding Report also states that, Fintech firms accounted for $55 million (29.6%) of the total capital invested in new African companies.

Ethel further asserted that, “The Bank of Ghana guidelines does not take into consideration the concept of virtual banking; which financial institution that offers deposit and withdrawal facilities, and other banking services, through automated teller machines or other devices like Mobile, without having a physical (brick and mortar) walk-in premises.”

Dr. Amediku in his admission maintained, “We at the Central Bank expect that in the next five years, digital financing is going to revolutionarize the whole payment system of the country and this is explained by the current interest that the banks have in digital financing.”

Mobile money records 100% increase in 2016 first quarter

The total value of transactions for mobile money increased by over 100 percent for the first quarter of this year compared to the same period of last year.

13.7 billion cedis worth of transactions were recorded in the first quarter of this year alone. For the 1st quarter of 2016, active mobile money customers have increased by 70 percent compared to the same period in 2015.