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BOG extends deadline for mobile money coys to meet capital requirement

The Bank of Ghana (BOG) has extended the deadline to meet the minimum capital requirement for mobile money companies to December 2020.

This is six months later than the initial June 2020 time limit for operators to raise the GH¢20 million requirement set by the central bank as part of measures to properly regulate the industry.

The directive is in line with the passage of the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987) which provides a legal and regulatory framework for the orderly development of the country’s payment system.

Head of Payment Systems Department at the BOG, Dr Settor Amediku made the announcement yesterday at the launch of a two-day conference to enhance various payment systems through mobile technology.

The “Mobile Technology for Development” (MT4D) conference on the theme; “Leveraging mobile technology to drive financial inclusion” was organised by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and Financial Inclusion Forum Africa, a non-profit organisation.

According to Dr Amediku, “the governance framework and infrastructural requirement deadline has also been extended to December 2020” adding that the BOG had also agreed for financial technology (fintech) companies to convert 50 per cent of their verifiable assets to cover 50 per cent of their minimum capital requirement.

The Mr Amediku in his remark justified the need for financial inclusion to not only ensure economic growth and reduce poverty but support efforts by the Central Bank to streamline the fiscal space.

He was happy with recent digital transformation move which had helped rope in a higher number of unbanked individuals in the country through the various mobile money payment platforms.

The intervention, Mr Amediku noted, had also brought about transformation among traditional banks to embrace e-commerce to easily respond to the financial needs of the populace.

The Head of Payment Systems Department, indicated that per a new five-year strategic plan developed by the Central Bank, it was poised to provide strong regulatory support for the mobile money enterprise in the country to drive the financial inclusion agenda.

In 2019, the BoG increased the minimum capital for Mobile Money companies from GH¢5 million to GH¢20 million; an increase of about 300 percent.

Players in the sector were thus given nine months beginning September 2019 to meet the new requirements.

The Central Bank in a statement divided the payment system providers (PSP) into five categories with corresponding capital requirement needed for players to operate within each category; Electronic Money Issuer (GH¢20 million), PSP Scheme (Payments cards like Visa and master cards–GH¢8 million), PSP Enhanced Licence (Payment Platforms like Express Pay etc–GH¢2 million), PSP Medium Licence (sub agents for the payment platforms– GH¢ 800,000).

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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