Safe, Secure Components Proposed To Remove Payment Setbacks In West Africa
The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Millison Narh has proposed the need to develop safe, secure and efficient components, which conform to the Core Principles of Systematically Important Payment Systems (SIPS).
These, he indicated, would possibly tackle the various setbacks in the payment system infrastructure in the West African sub-region.
Cash-based, which involved a lot of paperwork to effect payments as well as business transactions across borders and others have led to the underdevelopment of sub-regional payment systems for many years.
Speaking on the “Challenges confronting payment system development in West Africa” at a Switch Integration in West Africa roundtable, organized by the World Bank in Accra Monday, Mr. Narh said West African countries could not engage in the implementation of uncoordinated and divergent policies since it could be damaging to their integration ideals.
Even though efforts were being made by countries in the region to enlarge their economies, “it is only through regional and sub-regional integration and cohesiveness that we would be better able to hasten our progress towards economic growth and development,” the Deputy Governor said.
The roundtable discussion was targeted at leveraging the strength of domestic payment markets as a platform for promoting cross-border payment services and regionalization.
The World Bank was also using the roundtable, primarily as a collaborative instrument and organizing approach for a technical and exploratory discussion with national switch operators from Ghana, Nigeria and the UEMOA region.
Other recommendations made by Mr. Narh include reforms to upgrade payment systems, facilitating monetary policy management for West African countries, engagement with key stakeholders, strengthening governance, risk management, compliance and oversight of the financial infrastructure at both national and regional levels among others.
He hinted participants of the Bank of Ghana’s involvement in various policy interventions to develop the payment system infrastructure, which consists of the passage of the Payment System Act, 2003 (Act 662), the issuance of the guidelines for branchless banking in 2008 and the establishment of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GHIPSS).
Eighteen banks, he said, were already connected to the GH-Link common platform where customers could undertake transaction on ATMs of any bank incorporated to the GH-Link.