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Business News of Friday, 18 May 2018


BoG introduces Payment Systems & Services Bill

The Central Bank says it’s introducing an omnibus Payment Systems and Services Bill which is currently before Cabinet to further strengthen the country’s payment system.

The passage of the Bill into law is expected to further improve the regulatory environment and provide additional support for emerging digital financial services while minimizing related threats associated with financial inclusiveness.

Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of BoG, who delivered a speech at the launch of PaySwitch Company Limited yesterday in Accra, explained that the new law would among others make provision for emerging payment streams such as electronic money, prepaid cards, credit cards, electronic platforms and payment instruments.

It would also provide for non-banks to establish, own and manage electronic money business in the form of a separate entity to be supervised by the Bank of Ghana, as well as promote the availability and acceptance of electronic money and other forms of payment services as retail payment medium.

Furthermore, he said it would promote innovation in the design of new secure electronic money products and payment services and increase competition in the electronic money business, and finally open up the electronic money space to engender financial inclusion to help reduce poverty.

“I am therefore glad that PaySwitch Company is being launched today to take advantage of the platform provided by the bank for fintech companies within the legal and regulatory frameworks of the payment ecosystem.”

Charge to Fintechs

Dr Addison, therefore, called on financial technology firms to direct their efforts at innovative financial products that provide efficiency gains and cost savings compared with the traditional payment methods.

Speaking at the launch of PaySwitch Company Limited yesterday in Accra, Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of BoG, said Bank of Ghana, on its part, will continue to play a facilitating role to further develop the payment systems infrastructure, take proactive actions to safeguard the security of the financial market infrastructure and customer funds and promote an enabling environment for innovative products and services to thrive.

“As we improve on the regulatory and supervisory frameworks and the needed financial architecture, all stakeholders in the payment ecosystem must intensify efforts to innovate products and services to support the cash-lite and financially inclusiveness agenda.”

Dr Addison also explained that transitioning from a cash-dominant economy to a cash-lite economy on the back of electronic payments requires nurturing consumer confidence in the payment systems.

And as such stakeholders must therefore seek to provide consumers with adequate information needed to confidently transact business within the electronic ecosystem.

“This should be supported by consumer education, transparency and timely responses to consumer concerns as well as enhanced reliability, security and availability of all electronic payment services. Equally important are initiatives to enhance cyber security and engender greater public awareness of the security characteristics and safety guides to mitigate fraud in electronic payment systems.”

“Last week, we launched interoperability among mobile money platforms and between mobile money and the banks. Consequently, funds can now be transferred across different mobile money platforms and from mobile money wallets to bank accounts. This signifies an important milestone towards an integrated and interoperable electronic payments environment.

“However, an effective use of this infrastructure rests on market players to innovate and deliver payment products that meet the needs of various categories of customers. The bank is always ready to support such innovations that do not pose risks to the payment system.”