Mrs Mornah Quartey, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning
Accra, Aug 17, GNA – A National Payments Strategy (NPS) which provides 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 Bank of Ghana, Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System and Capgemini, an internationally acclaimed consultant is expected to contribute in transforming Ghana into a ‘cash-lite’ society.
Among the recommendations, the NPS called for the creation of Payments Council, an effective penalty regime, the need for BOG to issue a circular mandating both display of payment products pricing and also cap pricing at reasonable level and the need for a greater relationship between the national telecommunications companies and the BOG in the area of mobile money.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Millison Narh said the NPS would help to promote financial inclusion and enhance access to financial services.
He said national payment systems had become a development tool, providing a well- structured payment system and ensuring equitable distribution of financial resources and wealth.
Mr Narh assured stakeholders that all the recommendations in the NPSS would be implemented to promote the use of non-cash payments in the country.
He said a Payment Council would be put in place to oversee the NPS and ensure that the recommendations made were implemented, and commended Standard Chartered Bank for responding to the call by the BOG to produce the document.
Mrs Mornah Quartey, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said the NPS would provide a framework for achieving a ”cash-lite” economy.
She said the benefits of the NPS could not be overemphasised, saying ”there is growing evidence that digitising payment systems can yield many benefits.”
”A national cash-lite payment system enhanced accountability and ensure safer and speedier delivery of money,” she said.
The Deputy Minister said government was putting strategies in place to pay all government workers electronically to ensure government does not pay ghost workers.
She disclosed that government was developing a National Inclusion Strategy to deepen financial penetration in the country.
”Cashless payment system is fool-proof,” she said, and called for collaboration and co-ordination among players in banking and financial industry to enable the NPSS to succeed.
She said shifting payments from cash to electronic, does not only have the potential to improve the livelihoods of low-income people by advancing financial inclusion, but also enabled the poor grow assets and provide a more efficient, transparent and often safer means of disbursing payments.
The Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Mr Kweku Bedu Addo in his remark said the NPS is to help Ghana ”progress towards a cash-lite payment economy.”
He said a ‘cash-lite’ economy is critical to accelerate the development of the country and to also promote financial inclusion.
He said consultations were made with stakeholders across key sectors of Ghana’s economy, including banking, telecoms and other private and public institutions.
Mr Bedu-Addo said a concerted effort was required from BoG to drive the implementation of the recommendations for a drastic reduction in the dependence on cash to the more sophisticated and easy reliance on electronic payments.
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