Ghana gets Payment Systems Advisory Committee

An eight-member Payment Systems Advisory Committee has been constituted by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to advise it on payment systems issues in the country.

The committee chaired by the Governor of the BoG, Dr Ernest Addison has other members as Mr Sampson Akligo, Ministry of Finance, Archie Hesse, Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System,  Ms Evelyn Essien, Securities and Exchange Commission and  Kenneth Ashigbey,  Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications

The rest are Mr Samuel Sarpong, Ghana Association of Bankers, Kweku Kyei Ofori, National Information Technology Agency and Mr Charles Atuahene, from the  Association of Ghana Industries.

Among the terms of reference of the committee is to develop policy and regulations to regulate the payment systems industry in the country and advise the BoG on any other matters relating to payment in Ghana.

This is in line with the Payment System and Services Act (2019) (Act 987), specifically Section 4 (2) which enjoins the BoG to set up an advisory committee to advise the  bank on regulation and oversight of the payment systems, operation and technical stands of the payment systems.

In addition, about five working groups were formed to work on pricing, innovation, and technology for the payment system industry.

In his remarks, Dr Addison said the inauguration of the committee marked another landmark in the journey to develop a safe, efficient, competitive, and inclusive payment system for Ghana, stressing that payment system was essential components of a modern economy.

He said over the past decades, the Ghana payment system infrastructure had recorded rapid transformation supported by digitisation and said the payment system evolved with the establishment of the Real Times Gross Settlement System, the Automated Clearing House, Cheque Codeline  Clearing and Truncation system and the National Switch (E-zwich) and Smart Projects, which culminated in the GHiPPS.

He said the government’s quest to formalise the economy through digitisation places the payment system at the core of the national development agenda, indicating that the payment system had become the central focus for delivering several digital products including pension, insurance, credit, investments and savings.

The increasing digitisation of the payment systems landscape had helped widened the scope for financial technology firms to operate and they have developed innovative product and services that meet the needs of various customer types at affordable costs, which were critical for financial access.

“Without doubt, the payment system is of system is of systemic importance and engenders financial inclusion.  Therefore, the BoG will continue to strengthen the supportive structures, including the provision of strong regulatory and prudential oversight to ensure that the payment system is safe, efficient, competitive and supportive of innovation,” he said.

Dr Addison said the committee would help create the supportive governance structures to promote orderly development of a safe and efficient payment ecosystem and entreated the committee members to bring their expertise to bear on the various thematic areas of the payment system.

The Director and Head of Payment Systems Department of the BoG, Dr Settor Amediku said his outfit had developed a four-year strategic plant for the payment and systems Industry.

He said one of the key issues in the strategic plan was the launch of the universal quick response code to enhance payment in the country.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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