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BoG addresses digital payment needs of SMEs

Bank Of Ghana HQ The Bank of Ghana

Wed, 9 Dec 2020 Source:

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has established a new merchant payment system that will introduce a tiered account structure to ensure that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are able to access merchant accounts tailored to their needs.

According to the central bank, the tiered account structure will ensure that different customer types are able to sign on to electronic money accounts suitable to their needs, thereby promoting inclusive access to digital payments.

This, the BoG said, is to ensure that SMEs that do not meet the stipulated merchant requirements under the Payment Systems and Services Act 2019 (Act 987) get the opportunity to access merchant accounts that will enable them to accept payments by debit or credit cards.

Section 32 (1) of the Payment Systems and Services Act mandates categorisation of customer electronic money account on risk-based Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, which is evidenced by the tiered KYC account structure.

At present, the merchant account requirements under Act 987 can be met by merchants that have been registered as corporate entities only, which excludes SMEs.

“This apparent misalignment of digital payments at a merchant point of sale undermines the national digitisation agenda on account of SMEs constituting over 85 percent of businesses in Ghana,” the central bank said.

To remedy the situation, the bank has established tiered merchant account categories on risk-based KYC requirements with commensurate transactional limits.

The first tier covers small-size entities with average monthly transaction value of not more than GH¢5,000, whereas the second tier covers medium-size entities with an average monthly transaction value of between GH¢5,000 and GH¢15,000. The third tier covers corporate entities with an average monthly transaction value of above GH¢15,000.