The Bank of Ghana has inaugurated the Payment Systems Advisory Committee to give advice on regulation and oversight of the payment systems, operational and technical stands of the payment systems, and any other matters affecting payment services clearing and settlement of payments.
Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, says formation of the committee has become even more necessary considering government’s quest to formalise the economy and promote financial inclusion.
“Government’s quest to formalise the economy through digitisation places the payment system at the core of the national development agenda. Indeed, the payment system has become the central focus for delivering several digital products: including pension, insurance, credit, investments, and savings.
“Without doubt, the payment system is of systemic importance and engenders financial inclusion. Therefore, the Bank of Ghana will continue to strengthen the supportive structures – including the provision of strong regulatory and prudential oversight to ensure that the payment system is safe, efficient, competitive, and supportive of innovation,” he said.
The committee’s eight members come from various sectors of the economy. Aside from Dr. Addison who represents the Bank of Ghana, other members include: Archie Hesse, CEO of the Ghana Interbank and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS); Samson Akligoh, Ministry of Finance; Evelyn Essien, Securities and Exchange Commission; Kenneth Ashigbey, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications; Samuel Sarpong, Ghana Association of Bankers; Kwaku Kyei Ofori, National Information Technology Agency; and Charles Atuahene, Association of Ghana Industries.
Mr. Hesse, in an interview with the B&FT, said the committee’s formation is extremely important as it will allow GhIPSS to focus on its core mandate of providing payment systems infrastructure.
“The role of GhIPSS is to develop, implement, and promote payment systems infrastructure. So while you are developing the infrastructure, there is going to be some legal aspects to it. There will be other entities that interface with the centre. What should the standards be as things are developing? In terms of pricing, there is a need for the team to look at appropriate prices that will foster development of the payment systems.
“You cannot burden the infrastructure arm with all these payment systems, and that is why there is a need for an advisory committee to be formed. In the past, the central bank and GhIPSS have played these roles; but it is important that we engage all the various stakeholders to ensure whatever we come up with is in support of the country and is not dependent on individuals. It is going to enhance our work and free GhIPSS to focus on the development of infrastructure as opposed to areas that are not our focus,” he said.