The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison, has observed that the rolling out of the Mobile Money Interoperability Payment System is an important milestone towards ensuring an integrated and interoperable electronic payments environment.
He said the payment system would have a major impact on the country's efforts to ensuring greater financial inclusion and accelerate economic growth.
Speaking at the launch of the PaySwitch Company Limited, Ghana’s first private Third Party Processing firm, in Accra, Dr Addison said the Bank had established the needed financial architecture to support a robust payments and settlement systems.
“As part of the broader strategy to create an enabling regulatory environment for convenient, efficient and safe retail payment and funds transfer mechanisms, the Bank of Ghana issued the Branchless Banking Guidelines in 2008 and the Guidelines for E-Money Issuers (EMIs) and the Agent Guidelines in June 2015.
"The broad objective of these guidelines was to promote financial inclusion initiatives by extending financial services beyond the traditional branch-based channels and to limit e-money issuance to licensed Dedicated Electronic Money Issuer institutions,” Dr Addison stated.
The guidelines formed a core part of the Bank's strategy to create a supportive regulatory environment for adoption and use of a convenient, efficient and safe electronic retail payments and funds transfer.
Dr Addison noted that the publication of the guidelines had increased activity in electronic payments, especially mobile money, with tremendous positive impact on financial inclusion.
He said migration from magnetic stripe cards to chip-based payment cards, which took effect in April 2018, was expected to minimise, if not completely eliminate skimming or counterfeiting of payment cards.
“Indeed, these achievements were acknowledged in the April 2018 World Bank’s Global Index Report.”
“According to the Report, Ghana’s progress in financial inclusiveness has improved from 40.5 percent in 2014 to 58 percent in 2018, driven mainly by digital financial services.”
Dr Addison challenged stakeholders in the financial services sector and FinTech companies to take advantage of the Interoperability system to design products to meet the constantly evolving demand.
“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.
“As the payment industry expands, efforts by fintechs should be directed at innovative financial products that provide efficiency gains and cost savings compared with the traditional payment methods.
“Bank of Ghana 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,” he said.