In an effort to reduce the cost of processing card transactions, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has issued guidelines to localise the processing of payment card transactions, which would be charged in Ghana cedis.
The move will save the country huge amounts in Forex, as fee charges and commissions for processing domestic payment card transactions will be quoted in Ghana cedis and paid for in Ghana cedis only. In 2020, about 11.2million transactions valued at GH¢9.3billion were made through card payments.
The central bank in a release said: “Offshore processing of payment card transactions has been identified as one of the key drivers in the high cost of processing payment card transactions. Notwithstanding the availability of various payment card options in Ghana, adoption and use is significantly low due to factors such as cost, security and technological challenges,” it added.
These guidelines were issued to companies providing payment card processing services to localise the processing of payment card transactions in Ghana with payment cards issued in Ghana. This applies to entities including international card schemes; enhanced payment service providers; payment service provider schemes (domestic card schemes); designated payment systems.
According to the BoG, the different card types include smart cards, ATM cards, common credit and debit cards such as VISA, MasterCard, Europay, American Express and Diners Club among others.
These guidelines are issued pursuant to authority ffom the Bank of Ghana under Section 4(e) of the Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612) as amended and Section 101(2) (i) of the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987) to regulate the processing of payment card transactions in Ghana.
The guidelines provide a framework for the licencing and regulation of payment cards processing, as well as an enabling environment for payment card processing and usage in Ghana.
For the purpose of domestic processing of payment card transactions, International Card Schemes shall either incorporate a Ghanaian entity and obtain an enhanced payment service provider (EPSP) licence; or partner with an EPSP or payment service provider (PSP) scheme; or any other entity designated by the Bank of Ghana as a payment system.
However, an international card scheme that chooses to incorporate a Ghanaian entity shall be required to set up an incorporated entity under the company laws of Ghana and apply for an EPSP licence in line with the Bank of Ghana notice; as well as meet the Ghanaian equity participation requirements of Section 8(4) of the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987).