First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, has assured that the bank is still interested in developing a virtual currency for the economy to promote the cash-lite agenda. He made this statement during a workshop on payment systems and services. Dr. Opoku-Afari said despite the introduction of several policies so as to promote electronic cash transactions, the bank is still committed to promoting innovation in the market and testing concepts such as a central bank Digital Currency.
This was made after the central Bank of Ghana established a FinTech and Innovation office to supervise and promote the activities of FinTechs in Ghana.
The central bank has over the years continued to evolve its organisational structure in response to the dynamic nature of the payments sector. Before 2016, the payments sector was managed from a unit within the bank’s banking department. It subsequently established the Payment Systems Department in 2016 to adequately supervise a growing mobile money sector, in addition to ensuring an effective payment system.
In 2015 the Bank issued the Electronic Money Issuers and Agent Guidelines in replacement of the Branchless Banking Guidelines, and marked a departure from bank-based approach to financial service delivery. The narrow target of Electronic Money Issuers Guidelines meant that Fintechs which were not electronic money issuers were regulated out of the ecosystem.
In addition, the Bank of Ghana – through the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) – has facilitated the implementation of a modern and robust interbank payments systems portfolio. These systems include e-zwich, GIP, ACH, GH-Link and Mobile Money Interoperability, and establish the foundation for nationwide digital delivery of financial services.
This is not the first time that Ghana Governor discusses this. In early April he also discussed this openly.