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BoG to introduce directives for PwDs to ensure financial inclusion

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) is to introduce directives aimed at promoting financial inclusion by focusing on eliminating the barriers that affect the access of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) to finance through digital financial services.

The move by the Central Bank is part of efforts by the government to increase the financial inclusion rate in the country from the 58% in 2015 to 85% by 2023 as contained in the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy.

To this end, the German Development Corporation (GIZ), has launched the Financial Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities, to accelerate the effort in bridging the financial access gap for PwDs.

The Second Deputy Governor, Mrs Elsie Awadzi Addo, has underscored that the exponential growth of digital financial services in the country required the need to ensure that the physical barriers posed to PwDs were solved with digital services.

She was speaking at the launch of the project on Thursday, October 21.

She noted that the growth in the digital space was, “a real catalyst for promoting access to financial services for PwDs, given its potential to overcome many of the physical barriers that PwDs face in accessing traditional financial services.

It is because of the importance of the digital services in augmenting financial inclusion that the Second Deputy Governor said, “the Bank of Ghana is in the process of developing a Directive to promote access to finance for PwDs.”

She indicated that the directive would among other things require physical access to premises of financial institutions, access to digital payments and financial services for PwDs.

She explained that the directive would ensure that there would be on demand for and supply of PwD-specific financial products and services and reporting of data by regulated financial institutions to help reduce or eliminate the gap in their access to finance.

Aside that, the directive would promote good conduct of employees of regulated financial institutions in the provision of services, and help prevent discrimination against PwDs by regulated financial institutions.

There would also be the use of innovative and appropriate systems and materials to ensure information is disseminated in mediums accessible to all categories of PwDs.

“The Bank of Ghana continues to make strides in providing a supportive policy and regulatory framework that allows banks, other financial institutions, and Fintechs to design and provide innovative digital financial services and products that respond to the unique needs of underserved segments like PwDs.

The Bank of Ghana will continue to provide the enabling environment that supports a stable, resilient, and inclusive financial system, where the needs and interest of all consumers are met satisfactorily,” Mrs Awadzi Addo said.

The financial inclusion for PwDs project

The GIZ project is to respond to the global imperative to address the lack of access to critical financial services for many PwDs, as part of efforts to ensure more equitable and sustainable socio-economic development paradigms.

The project seeks to increase accessibility of digital and analogue financial services and strengthen the capacity of banks and other financial institutions to provide more financial services to PwDs.

Again, it is aimed at providing an advocacy and advisory platform for promoting access to finance for PwDs, all in a bid to make them financially inclusive.

READ ALSO: BoG Urges Rural Banks To Implement Policies To Expedite Financial Inclusion

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