Cross border interoperability: Governor calls for effective collaboration between regulators, financial institutions, others

Source The Ghana Report

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, has called for effective collaboration between regulators, financial institutions, mobile money operators, FinTech innovators, and other stakeholders in Africa, saying, it is crucial to address technical challenges, ensure regulatory compliance, build trust, and drive the scalability and sustainability of cross-border mobile money and other interoperability initiatives.

According to him, by fostering a collaborative ecosystem, Africa can harness its FinTech advancements to unleash the full potential of interoperable mobile money systems, benefiting both individuals and countries across the continent.

Giving remarks at the Africa Prosperity Network 2024 Symposium on Retail Payment Interoperability, he said the need for a robust framework that enables seamless cross-border payment in Africa has remained central to most recent policy, development, and financial inclusion discussions.

This, he added underscores the enormous constraint faced on the continent and the quest for concrete actions to promote cross-border payment systems to achieve our shared aspirations

“We are living in a time where most African’s first interaction with the financial sector may be through their smartphones. We are also living in a time where Africa’s cross-border payments are costly, where sending $100 could end up being only $40 received in some of the most expensive corridors. You would agree with me that these two scenarios present an optimal opportunity for scaling up cross-border transactions on the continent. The good news however is that our financial future is filled with possibilities, and at the forefront of these advancements lies the interoperability of our payment systems”, the Governor continued.

He stressed that the concept of interoperable mobile money systems holds enormous potential for the establishment of comprehensive cross-border payment interoperability in the short-medium term.

As such, an efficient cross-border payment interoperability system can deliver seamless payments between buyers and sellers across African countries, as well as provide extensive inclusivity in expanding access to payment and financial services for the youth, vulnerable groups, and striving entrepreneurs.

‘This notwithstanding, achieving cross-border interoperable mobile money systems would require harmonised regulatory frameworks, consistent technical standards, and robust infrastructure. In addition, strong public-private partnerships, involving mobile network operators, financial institutions, FinTechs, and regulators would address technical challenges and ensure regulatory compliance”, the Governor intimated.

Other strategies that would ensure the adoption and long-term system reliability of cross-border payment interoperability, he said, include customer education and trust, scalability, and system sustainability, as well as inclusive access, which is essential for all segments of society, including rural and underserved populations.

He concluded on a positive note, saying, the foundational elements necessary to implement this idea of cross-border payment interoperability are partly in place in some African countries.

These include regulatory sandbox programmes, progressive regulatory frameworks, and a dynamic FinTech sector, eager for growth opportunities. However, what may be lacking is collaboration among stakeholders

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