By Ernest KISSIEDU
Head of Department for Payment Systems at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Settor Kobla Amediku, has indicated that movement of money from circulation into the banking system makes the country’s monitory policy very effective.
This is as a result of the passage of the electronic banking issuance and agents guidelines by the central bank two years ago.
According to him, the old ways of doing banking in Ghana is gradually phasing out with the advent of mobile phones.
“We’ve now seen that the old day of brick and mortar banking is dying. Any bank who does not want to go digital, the next 5 to 10 years, is going to face serious challenges. This can be seen from the float balances recorded by the central bank last year. A lot of money is being moved out,” Dr. Settor Amediku noted at the launch of myghpay.com, an online payment and services hub designed by GTBank in Accra.
Giving some statistics, Dr. Amediku said total money on float or float balances held at the central bank at the end of May, 2017 was 1.54 billion, up from 547 million in July, 2015 when electronic banking guidelines were passed.
“It tells us that something critical is happening in Ghana, especially in the history of banking and the payment system.”
He added that as at the end of December, 2016, there were only 1,341 bank branches throughout the country, whilst over 20 million Ghanaians had mobile money accounts.
“And we have only 11.4 million Ghanaians who have bank accounts. Active mobile money agents are over 107,000 as at the end of December.
“Mobile phone penetration in Ghana is over 100 percent as given to us by the National Communications Authority. Almost everybody has a mobile phone but it’s only 11.4 million of Ghanaians that have a bank account; though banking services have been in existence for the last 70 years,” BoG’s head of payment systems revealed.
Dr. Amediku remarked that credit card growth as at the end of December was very encouraging even though previously, it was believed that credit card usage was for the affluent in society.
“Banks were not ready to issue credit cards. Now my table is full of a lot of applications coming from banks to be given authorization to issue credit cards.
“Currently, Ghana is being adjudged as one of the best countries not only in Africa with respect to innovation in the payment system looking at the type of products that are coming into the market place,” Dr. Settor Amediku opined.
Meanwhile, Chief Director of the Ministry of Business Development, Mr. Joe Tackie, on behalf of the Minister, says government has initiated some measures within the macro-economic space to stabilize the cedi and reduce significantly the cost of borrowing.
“The vision of President Akufo-Addo is to create the most business friendly and able economy in Africa led by the private sector to create jobs and prosperity for all Ghanaians.
“For Ghana to be successful, we need to ensure that we unleash the potentials of our micro, small and medium enterprises to enhance their contribution to GDP, job creation and to develop a sustainable business environment for the country,” Mr. Tackie stressed.
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