Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta has observed that moving away from cash helps the country advance toward achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Government has launched three new policy initiatives designed to deepen financial inclusion and accelerate digital payments, in line with government’s vision of building a payment system that accelerates economic development.
The policies are the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy; Digital Financial Services Policy; and Cash-Lite Roadmap. Digital payments help drive transparency, accountability and efficiency, and have been a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic with its attendant restrictions.
The National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy, developed in collaboration with the World Bank, aims at increasing financial inclusion from the current 58 percent to 85 percent by 2023; thus helping create economic opportunities and reducing poverty.
The Cash-Lite Roadmap, designed in collaboration with the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance, puts forward concrete steps to build an inclusive digital payments ecosystem. The Digital Financial Services Policy builds on existing technological gains to create a resilient, inclusive and innovative digital ecosystem that contributes to social development, a robust economy and a thriving private sector.
Latest figures from GhIPSS show that the use of electronic payment channels which go through the GhIPSS platform went up by 81 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year.
In 2017, the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPPS) – under the auspices of the central bank of Ghana – launched the Mobile Money Interoperability scheme to facilitate simple and convenient movement of funds across mobile money platforms.
Ofori-Atta said at the launch that public and private sector actors need to work hand in hand, digitising in a responsible manner to turn these new policy initiatives into tangible benefits for all Ghanaians. Mobile money platforms have proved to be a convenient payment system for people from all walks of life, and gone a long way to deepen financial inclusion.
Their benefits to the economy are manifest and incontestable.