THE Bank of Ghana (BoG) says it is engaging the financial services industry and seeking views to inform the operationalisation of the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987).

The engagement, based on the Act,will according to BoG provide appropriate guidelines for the BoG to regulate players in the financial technology space.
“We will be coming out with the operational guidelines and licensing requirements for Fintechs in the next couple of weeks,” First Deputy Governor of the BoG, Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari disclosed in Accra

recently at a stakeholder workshop organized by MTN Ghana as part of its 10th anniversary celebration.

Dr Opoku-Afari said views from ongoing stakeholder engagements will help the regulator develop a licensing regime and requirements that would allow FINTECHs to operate independently under the new Act.

The implementation of the Act is expected to further liberalize the payment system and pave the way for direct licensing of fintechs by the BoG, and ultimately facilitate electronic means of payment.

To promote financial inclusion, there was the need for a flexible regulatory environment for FINTECHs, in which “innovation is promoted, but at the same time, we are able to strike a good balance between risks and the level of oversight and compliance requirements.”

“The Bank of Ghana remains committed to continuously review regulations to ensure that they remain relevant and accommodate for advances in technology and piloting of new ideas, where possible, by using regulatory sandboxes,” he stated.

The regulator explained that in the long-run, Ghana’s new Payment Systems and Services Act should help improve not only the payments system but also create an enabling environment for the surging financial digitization processes in the economy.

To be successful, electronic payment products should be affordable and sustainable, Dr Opoku-Afari noted, stressing “sustainability requires leveraging on an enlarged network which supports payment service providers to build critical mass and achieve the desired economies of scale.

In this regard, collaborative efforts with the financial digital space to develop and share infrastructure should be encouraged.”

For mobile money entities and fintechs to be successful in an increasingly competitive payment ecosystem, the industry needs to have a long-term view and be ready to build sustainable and affordable electronic payment solutions that meet the needs of diverse clientele in the society.

Mobile money technology has evolved and gained public acceptance, and in almost a decade, contributed significantly towards financial inclusion in the country.

For instance, the number of mobile money accounts has reached 32.6 million in December 2018 compared with 3.8million in December 2012.

Total float balances as at December 2012 was GH₵19.6 million compared withGH₵2.6 billion recorded in December 2018.