Given the role that cash payments play in fuelling corruption and other illicit activities, it is time that government took urgent steps to move away from dealing with physical cash.
This will not only help in the country’s bid to curb corruption in the public sector, but also set a good example for the private sector to follow.
It is therefore heartwarming that Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has hinted government is to soon shun accepting cash payments.
“We are getting to a point where very soon government will have to stop accepting cash payments anywhere. Once we do that, one of the biggest enemies of corruption is technology.
“If we can track all payments and collect them properly, it will be more difficult for people to steal the money if it is all electronic,” Dr. Bawumia said in Accra.
To incentivise the move toward a cashless economy, however, this paper believes that government should come up with a raft of discounts and freebies on digital transactions.
This will create an enabling environment for innovations to enhance cashless transactions, while creating new opportunities for the country’s increasingly technology-savvy youth.
“As the economy evolves so does the lifestyle of its citizens, and such evolution must be matched by competent skill and industrial knowledge backed by the necessary technological infrastructure. A properly harnessed effort in this area has the capacity to transform society significantly toward achievement of a cashless economy,” he pointed out in Accra.
The increase in mobile money penetration, coupled with the adoption of electronic banking systems by financial institutions, also provides an opportune window for us to migrate to a cashless society, which government must take the advantage of.
It is estimated that the country spends millions of taxpayer’s money printing currency notes from time to time due to wear and tear, with the figure said to be increasing if steps are not taken to reduce the dependence on physical cash.
The country therefore stands to benefit greatly if government can take the lead initiative by rejecting cash payments.
Digital payment platforms have the potential to promote transparency, as well as people’s trust in public servants, and increase their belief in government’s commitment to drastically reducing corruption.
We therefore hope that government will fast-track measures to hasten the economy’s transition to being a cashless one, which could help create prosperity for the majority of our citizenry.