Credit score platform coming next year – Bawumia


Individuals and businesses in the country will soon have increased access to credit facilities, as a framework for the issuance of individual credit scores is expected to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2023, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has disclosed.

This, he says, will prove a crucial step in transformation of the domestic economy as the robust credit system built from its introduction will result in a rise of consumption, investments, job creation and wider prosperity.

He made this known in remarks at the 2nd edition of Standard Chartered Bank’s Digital Banking, Innovation and FinTech Festival, dubbed ‘Powering Africa’s Digital Economy: Platforms, Players and Policy’.

Highlighting some of the tangible benefits of government’s ongoing digitalisation agenda, he said: “It is comforting to note that even the credit reference agencies are leveraging on these digital infrastructures we have put in place – the digital address system, national ID and so on; and we are expecting that individual credit scoring by the agencies will start taking place by the first quarter of next year. This will allow and underpin the development of a real credit system in Ghana, which is very critical in terms of the country’s development.”

The Vice President said while the cost, particularly the initial investment, required for digital transformation of the economy has been significant, central government remains resolute as it is convinced that benefits will outpace the cost.

“The costs are high, but we are unwavering because we believe the benefits will outweigh the cost – and they already are,” he said, citing among other things Ghana emerging as the only country to have a 100 percent score for financial inclusion on the back of mobile money interoperability, as captured by the ‘State of Inclusive Instant Payment in Africa’ report launched at the ongoing Mobile World Congress Africa 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Touching on additional benefits of the drive, Dr. Bawumia further disclosed that 1,018 out of the 1,052 government institutions including ministries and metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) have been successfully migrated onto the digital service and revenue collection platform –

With the remaining 34 institutions expected to be onboarded in the near term, the Vice President expressed optimism that the estimated more than US$3billion lost to corruption would have been saved – in addition to increased tax revenue and enhanced productivity from persons requiring the services of these bodies.

“We are really seeing the impact of these digitisation initiatives, including efficient public service deliveries – as middlemen, ghost-names, the need to pay bribes and long waiting times will all be eliminated,” he explained.

While reiterating government’s commitment to ensuring a stable socioeconomic environment for further digital investments, and calling for enhanced collaboration and robust regulatory regimes, he commended the scale and depth of the Festival; describing it as “a game-changer which significantly contributes to the efforts government is making in driving growth of the digital economy”.

Customer focus and nimble feet 

The banking industry was implored to be agile in the face of the rapidly developing financial technology landscape by the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Maxwell Opoku Afari, who warned that failure to do so will see them left behind.

While chronicling how the BoG has pioneered leading innovation and relevant policies to make Ghana a fully-digitised economy – through the development of an effective and efficient retail payment ecosystem that is anchored on robust interbank infrastructure – he said the protection of consumers remains its overarching goal.

“The consumer should be at the centre of our collective efforts. As such, the Bank will not relent in its efforts to protect them. It is in this vein that the Bank of Ghana has developed an artificial intelligence-powered, automated consumer complaint system – a chatbot – known as Akushika. This consumer experience solution is being developed as an additional mechanism to manage complaints and consumer protection,” he said of the tool that is currently in its pilot phase.

Broad scope

Chief Executive Officer at Standard Chartered Bank, Mansa Nettey, said the impact of the Festival’s maiden edition, coupled with the opportunity digitalisation presents for the economy to leapfrog in terms of development, resulted in broadening the scope and scale of discussions to cover Africa’s digital transformation – and touches on the very important theme of gender and inclusiveness.

“We will explore opportunities that exist in using digital technology to unlock Africa’s economic growth and focus on regulations which protect and enhance digital trade, and delve into the future of banking, money and payment systems in solving the complex financial inclusion challenges on our continent,” she explained.

“In a session dedicated to women in technology, we will discuss the urgent need for women-owned businesses to tap into the enormous opportunities offered by technology-adoption and explore investment opportunities to help female-owned businesses scale further and faster,” added Mrs. Nettey, who doubles as president of the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB).

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