Consumer confidence grows in digital payment systems – BoG
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has observed that the country is experiencing a significant growth in consumer confidence in the use of digital payment systems for various financial transactions.
This is reflected in the increase in active mobile money (MoMo) accounts, and mobile money interoperability transactions, particularly during the onset of the Covid-19 and post pandemic era.
Figures provided by the Central Bank has shown that currently, there are more than 19 million active mobile money accounts, which prior to the pandemic, stood at 14.4 million.
Similarly, the mobile money interoperability continued to show strong growth, recording 365% growth in volume and 651% in value between 2019 and 2020.
As of September this year, interoperability transactions grew by 216% in volume and 350% in value compared to the same period last year.
These, the Bank of Ghana, has underscored were driving the digital financial services industry, nothing that the pandemic resulted in bringing household and firms into the financial technology (fintech) space.
Referring to the surge in the use of digital platforms for financial transactions, spearheaded by active MoMo accounts, and MoMo interoperability transactions, the BoG Governor, Dr Ernest Addison, said, “this further indicates the increasing consumer confidence and preference for digital payment options.”
Dr Addison, who was speaking at the Ghana Economic Forum, which is being held from October 18 to October 20, explained that the Covid-19 pandemic provided a strong leverage case point for the global financial technology sector.
Concerning the situation in Ghana, he said, the digitisation agenda, including financial digitisation, which began long before the pandemic, received an added push during the pandemic, evidenced by the dramatic increase in the growth of digital financial services.
He underscored that the rapid changes in payments technology has made the use of technology in financial services become a necessity rather than a choice, driven by consumer demand for convenience, efficiency, and lower cost of transactions.
“Currently, digital payments have been on an uptrend and various governments’ have joined in the digitisation process and most central banks are at various exploratory stages of developing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), with the recognition of money as an important public good and whose stability needs to be protected,” the Governor said.
This has catapulted the Bank of Ghana to enter the digital currency space and piloting the CBDC, with broad stakeholder consultations on the project, which would eventually lead to the issuance of a digital currency, the E-Cedi, Dr Addison said.
He described the E-Cedi as “a safe and stable means of payments and settlements, which would further advance financial inclusiveness, promote efficiency in the payment systems, and foster competition in the financial sector.”
He however noted that the Bank of Ghana laid the foundation for the payment system to thrive by providing the required payment systems infrastructure, leading to the achievements being chalked.
This includes the setting-up of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GHIPSS), Real-Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), Cheque Codeline, Clearing System (CCC), the National Biometric Smartcard (E-zwich) and the National Switching and Processing System (Gh-Link).
Others are the GHIPSS Instant Pay (GIP), Mobile Money Interoperability platform the Universal QR Code, and the hybrid Gh-Link Card.