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Business News of Wednesday, 19 June 2019


Payment Systems and Services Act to boost ongoing digitisation

Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana

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

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.

Dr Addison 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 fitness by the Bank of Ghana, and ultimately promote financial inclusion to facilitate electronic means of payment.

The Governor was speaking at the opening session of the 26th Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) Africa Regional Conference in Accra on the theme: “Enabling the Digital Economy.”

More than 500 professionals from over 45 countries across Africa and beyond, including; policy makers, industry leaders and FinTechs are meeting over the next three days to shape market practices in Africa’s financial services sector.

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 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, has 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 played 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 (fintechs) have designed innovative products and services to promote digital savings, lending and investments to unbanked customers at affordable costs.

Some of the products and services include; online payment platforms, mobile banking services, Quick Response codes, money transfer services, deployment of Point of Sale 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.

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

Mr Sido Bestani, Regional Director, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, SWIFT, said the Africa Regional Conference is a platform to discuss ideas, develop solutions to challenges, and define the future of Africa’s financial industry.