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Business News of Wednesday, 22 November 2000

Source: Joy Online

Stanchart MD speaks about need for cash-less society

Mr Joseph Abraham, Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank says a good telecommunication infrastructure is essential if Ghana is to transform itself from a cash-based society to a cash-less one.

"The provision of a reliable high speed and secure data network will lay a good foundation and speed up the country's transition into a cash-less society," he said in an address to the Fourth National Bankers Conference in Accra. He spoke on: "Changing Ghana Into A Cash-less Society - The Way

Forward." Mr Abraham said lack of public confidence in the use of cheques to settle transactions has contributed to large volumes of cash in the system.

This situation, he said, is exacerbated by the manual clearing process, which does not permit the early clearing of cheques. Mr Abraham said currently about 60 per cent of transactions are done in cash, adding that this does not augur well for the development of a healthy financial system.

He said because the banks are not networked, transactions, which could be done in hours, take days to complete.

Mr Abraham therefore called for a working group to formulate a common standard to which all the banks would conform, saying there is the need for the banks to sacrifice short term competitive advantages for long term goals.

He said the establishment of a cash-less society would demonstrate the economic progress and development of the country as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of its banking system. He also stressed the need for public education to promote the idea of cash-less society.