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BoG Targets 75% Financial Inclusion By 2023

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The Head of Payment System at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Settor Amediku, has said the central bank wants to further deepen financial inclusion by increasing the percentage of financial inclusion in the country from 58 per cent as of the end of 2017 to 75 per cent by the close of 2023.

That, he said, would ensure effectiveness in the monitory policy of the central bank since price decisions did not have any significant impact when majority of the population were not included in the financial system.

“With the increasing demand of consumer convenience through digitization of banks, the BoG seeks to leverage on the potentials of digital banking to include more people in financial system to make the monitory policies that are undertaken by BoG to become effective,” he stated.

“However, this calls for specified regulations to supervise the operation of payment service providers and fintechs in the country to ensure that there is an orderly developing ecosystem,” he added.

At the City Business Festival’s Fintech Summit in Accra recently Dr. Amediku said passing the Payment System and Services Bill into an act would regulate the financial environment for discipline which would ensure the stability of the financial system.

“When Parliament passes the Payment System and Services Bill into an Act, minimum corporate governance, anti-money laundering issues and data protection will be checked by the central bank,” he stated.

Payment systems and Service Act

The BoG in 2003 promulgated a Payment System Act which was to help develop the payment system in the country. Unfortunately, the bank was so focused on infrastructure such as creating the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhiPSS), whose core mandate was to implement and manage interoperable payment systems infrastructure for banks and non-bank financial institutions.

With this, the payment system did not inculcate technology, innovation and consumer demand for convenience; therefore, the bank needed to review the act and guidelines to address the new payment systems such as mobile money and other fintechs in the payment ecosystem.

This called for the merger of regulations and guidelines into one form of legislation which now awaits Parliament’s approval to become an act which will regulate fintechs and other payment service providers.

Dr. Amediku said the passage of the bill would also allow the BoG to license payment service providers and fintechs when the bank was satisfied that applicants had met the licensing criteria as stipulated in the act and any other requirements specified by the bank.

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