The Bank of Ghana, in a circular, titled ‘Bank of Ghana licenses first fintech’, to the public yesterday, April 30, 2020, has confirmed its licence to Zeepay, a leading financial technology firm, to operate a full-fledged mobile money service.
The official announcement by the Central Bank follows Zeepay’s publication exactly a month ago about the receipt of the licence from the regulator.
The licence, the first to a non-bank financial institution and financial technology company, also known as a Dedicated Electronic Money Issuer Licence, allows Zeepay to undertake services such as Cash In, Cash Out, P2P Transfers (Peer to Peer), Bill Payments, Airtime Top-Up, and International Money Transfer (IMT).
“In furtherance of efforts to deepen financial inclusion and in accordance with the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987), the Bank of Ghana has issued its first Dedicated Electronic Money Issuer Licence, to a local Financial Technology (Fintech) company, Zeepay Ghana Limited. The licence authorises Zeepay Ghana Limited, to operate as a Dedicated Electronic Money Issuer,” the notice said.
Signed by Sandra Thompson, the Secretary to the bank, the notice added that the Bank of Ghana wishes to reiterate its commitment to providing an enabling environment for Fintechs, industry players and other stakeholders, to operate in the payment services space in Ghana.
With this licence, Zeepay customers can now send and receive money across over 150,000 agent network available and also perform other related services out of Zeepay’s full bouquet such as – remittances, micro insurance, auto insurance, mortgage remit, airtime top up, bill payment and pension collections all in partnership with third parties – such as insurance companies, banks, and pension trustees amongst others.
Zeepay’s Board Chairman, Paa Kwasi Yankey mentioned that the new Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) license will enable Zeepay to extend its current services within the Mobile Financial Services Industry. He reiterated that, Bank of Ghana’s approval is a historic landmark, considering that Zeepay is the first Non-Bank Financial Services to be so issued.
“I am excited and believe that this landmark approval will open doors for Zeepay across the African continent – where we have significant operations in countries such as Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Cameroun, Ivory Coast, Guinea amongst others.”
Andrew Takyi-Appiah, Managing Director noted that since 2014 when Zeepay embarked on this journey, the company has never stopped to innovate- from being the first to introduce Tap & Pay services to mobile money, PoS acquiring for mobile money wallets and digital termination of remittances to mobile wallets. “We are deeply humbled and grateful to the Bank of Ghana for this approval,” he said.
But Mr. Takyi-Appiah mentioned that “Central Banks in Africa should follow the lead of Ghana and go a step further to recognize such approvals in their markets through Passporting like it’s done in Europe where Zeepay is regulated across all 28 countries through similar Passporting arrangements from the United Kingdom.”
“The approval will enable Zeepay improve last mile access to financial services for over 20million Ghanaians while offering safety, convenience and significant cost savings. We look forward to exciting times ahead, where in partnership with banks, insurance companies, fintechs’, application service providers and pension fund managers amongst others, we offer mobile financial services products to our large pull of over 2million users across Ghana.”
Head of Commercial at Zeepay, Dede Quarshie further expressed the company’s gratitude and profound appreciation to the central bank and the payment systems team for their tremendous support.