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GhanaPay platform: Banks, other financial institutions to reach more unbanked population

Ernest Addison Bank Of Ghana Governor12121212 Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison

Thu, 16 Jun 2022 Source: thebftonline.com

The introduction of the first bank-wide mobile money solution, dubbed: GhanaPay, to be offered by universal banks, rural banks, and savings and loans companies, is expected to spur the country’s financial inclusion drive, as well as its digital financial transformation.

GhanaPay, which is available to individuals and businesses, according to the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, provides a “huge avenue for banks to rapidly bring more people into the banking space”.

This is against the backdrop that the platform provides an avenue to address the bottlenecks faced in opening formal bank accounts, thus easing the processes now, particularly for the unbanked.

While the banking sector has since been exploring ways to extend financial inclusions to all Ghanaians, he recognized that for a long time, over 70 percent of the adult population was unbanked.

However, he said due to the reforms in the payment systems, and the introduction of electronic payment channels, “We have significantly reduced the unbanked population”.

This notwithstanding, he said there is more to be done, and “one of the channels to achieve this is through digital financial services. That is leveraging the increasing adoption and usage of the mobile wallet because of the ease of use,” he added.

The Vice President, who was speaking at the launch of GhanaPay, therefore, tasked banks to use the platform to massively reduce the traditionally unbanked population.

GhanaPay offers users the opportunity to have a direct relationship with a bank as a mobile money user, providing access to unlimited banking services with transfers only attracting only E-Levy charges.

“With the functionalities that the GhanaPay wallet provides, banks can leverage to provide a wide variety of tailormade banking and wallet services to people who they previously could not reach.

“The option of providing customers a combination of banking and traditional mobile money service gives the customer the power to do more.”

He was, however, hopeful that the new system will bring healthy competition to the mobile money space, which should lead to enhanced services and lower costs to the customer. “I expect a healthy response from existing mobile money companies”, he stated.

GhanaPay was developed and introduced through a collaborative effort by the Ghana Inter-Bank Payments and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) and the Ghana Association of Banks under the auspices of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

The Governor of BoG, Dr. Ernest Addison, noted that banks in Ghana are re-inventing themselves, and continue to respond positively to the competitive nature of the payment systems, characterized by increased consumer preferences for convenience and frictionless payment options.

“This collaborative effort of a common electronic wallet will enable economies of scale through the pooling of resources. By establishing this common GhanaPay mobile wallet, the cost of testing any new technology for each bank is reduced, and allows new ways of doing business,” he stated.

The latest development, he opined, demonstrates how collaboration with the banking sector can proffer solutions for the transformation and deepen the payments ecosystem.

He said Ghana’s progress in migrating to electronic payments has been remarkable, adding that GhIPSS Instant Pay transactions, in less than a decade are valued at GH¢31.4billion in 2021 from GH¢420,000 in 2016.

The emergence of new business models in the banking sector, together with partnerships with financial technology (Fintechs) companies in the offering of payment-related services, he noted, has also helped to bridge the financial inclusion gap.

The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, also speaking at the ceremony recognized that the latest initiative is intended to “strengthen the hand of banks and savings and loans in serving the informal sector using channels they are familiar with – a mobile wallet.”

Among others, he said GhanaPay presents a unique opportunity for banks to provide the informal sector with a wallet that combines the features of traditional mobile money services and a bouquet of banking services.

Source: thebftonline.com
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