President Nana Akufo-Addo has approved the Payment Systems and Services bill 2019, now Payment Systems and Services Act 2019 (Act 987) into law.
The law is now operational and was assented by the President on May 13, 2019 as part of efforts to create an enabling payment regulatory framework.
Now that its operational, the law is expected to among other things bring about liberalisation of the country’s payment system to allow entry of non-banks, direct licencing of fintechs by the BoG, and promote financial inclusion to facilitate electronic means of payment.
Issues like mobile money fraud and cyber security have been addressed by the law through standardisation and certification.
Asked what benefits will be derived from the law, Head of Payment Systems at the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Settor Amediku, said apart from contributing to improving the ease of doing business, it will also promote electronic commerce and job-creation in the country.
The law, which encourages at least 30 percent Ghanaian ownership in fintechs, is also expected to bring about innovation in the payment and technology space.
According to the Payment Systems Oversight Annual Report 2017, the value of retail payments, excluding cash, increased by 43.18 percent to GH¢381.43billion in 2017 from GH¢266.39billion in 2016.
The growth was on account of increases in the value of mobile money services – 98.50 percent, and e-zwich with 45.34 percent.
Meanwhile, mobile money overtook cheques as the main non-cash retail payment instrument with 981.6 million volume of transactions, followed by Debit Cards (60.4 million), e-zwich (8.4 million), cheques (7.3 million) and Direct Credit Transfer (6.1 million) in 2017.
However, in terms of value of transactions undertaken in 2017, cheques continued to maintain the lead with GH¢179.6billion while mobile money followed closely with GH¢155.8billion.
The operationising of the law is therefore expected to harness the potential of electronic payments, e-commerce and fintech as catalysts for economic transformation.