A national payments strategy (NPS), which “provides an appropriate road map to accelerate the process of moving the country from a cash dominant economy to a cash-lite one,” has been presented to the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
Developed by the Standard Chartered Bank’s internal payments experts, the BoG, Ghana interbank payment and settlement system and consultancy Capgemini, an internationally acclaimed consultant, the NPS is expected to contribute in transforming Ghana into a ‘cash-lite’ society.
Among the recommendations, the NPS calls for the creation of a Payments Council; an effective penalty regime; for BoG to issue a circular mandating both display of payment products pricing and also cap pricing at reasonable level; and for a greater relationship between the national telecommunications companies and the BoG in the area of mobile money.
The BoG’s deputy governor, Millison Narh said the NPS would help to promote financial inclusion and enhance access to financial services. He added that national payment systems had become a development tool, providing a well-structured payment system and ensuring equitable distribution of financial resources and wealth.
Narh assured stakeholders that all the recommendations in the NPS would be implemented to promote the use of non-cash payments in the country. A Payment Council would be put in place to oversee the NPS and ensure that the recommendations made were implemented.
Mrs Mornah Quartey, Ghana’s deputy minister of finance and economic planning, said the NPS would provide a framework for achieving a ‘cash-lite’ economy. “There is growing evidence that digitising payment systems can yield many benefits,” she added. “A national cash-lite payment system enhances accountability and ensures safer and speedier delivery of money.”
Quartey said that Ghana is introducing systems to pay all government workers electronically to ensure the government does not pay ‘ghost’ workers. Additionally, ministers are developing a national inclusion strategy to deepen financial penetration in the country.
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