eCedi can deepen financial inclusion


Head of Digital and Inclusive Banking at the Bank of Ghana, Martha Acquaye, expresses confidence that the Central Bank Digital Currency (eCedi) will revolutionise Ghana’s payment and settlement system by making markets more diverse and competitive.

She is confident that introduction of the eCedi will bring about a more effective means of settlement by reducing, if not completely clearing, the stress associated with the country’s payment and settlement system.

According to her, its introduction will curtail the counting of so many notes, as well as a reduced risk of carrying cash from banking halls or different agent outlets to their destinations.

She made this known during a mobile money (MoMo) stakeholder forum in Accra organised by MTN themed ‘Assessing the Impact of the Central Bank’s Digital Currency on the Future of Digital Payments’.

Last year, the Bank of Ghana partnered with Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) to pilot a general purpose Central Bank Digital Currency (retail CBDC).

G+D is provider of the technology as well as developer of the solution adapted to Ghana’s requirements, resulting in piloting an offline version of the eCedi to be used for consecutive payments in areas yet to be connected to digital and Internet infrastructure during July this year.

The piloting is being carried out at Sefwi Asafo in the Western North Region, where select users in that community have been using it for daily purchases such as food, groceries and drinks.

Adding his voice, Assistant Director-Fintech Promotion and Innovation at the Bank of Ghana, Clarence Blay, said the eCedi will be a game-changer. This is because digitalisation is critical to engendering financial inclusion in the country.

The digital cedi, or ‘eCedi’, is intended to complement and serve as a digital alternative to physical cash, thus driving the Ghanaian cashlite agenda through promotion of diverse digital payments while ensuring a secure and robust payment infrastructure in Ghana.

It also aims to facilitate payments without a bank account, contract or smartphone, and by so doing boost the use of digital services and financial inclusion among all demographic groups.

The eCedi will have products and services to bridge the gap between the banked and unbanked.

It will be recalled that on September 30 last year (2021), Ghana announced being at an advanced pre-design stage of a state-backed digital currency, which will make Ghana one of the first African countries to develop a state-backed digital currency.

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