Parliament passes Payment Systems and Services bill

Parliament passes Payment Systems and Services bill
Source: Ghana | JoyBusiness | JAD
Date: 21-03-2019 Time: 06:03:23:pm

Parliament on Thursday passed the Payment Systems and Services bill into law. 

The bill is expected to significantly trigger the growth of electronic payments in Ghana.

 The purpose of this law is to amend and consolidate laws and guidelines relating to payment systems, electronic money operations and to regulate institutions which issue electronic money and provide payment services.

The country has had the Payment Systems Act, 2003 (Act 662) and the Branchless Banking Guidelines (2008). But these laws and guidelines failed to make provision for emerging payment streams such as electronic money, prepaid cards, credit cards, electronic platforms and payment instruments. 

As a result of this lapse, the growth of a lot of Fintech companies and electronic payment products were stifled as there was no proper regulatory system for them to operate. 

Implications

With the passage of the Payment Systems and Services law, all mobile money operators need to set up a subsidiary and will have to seek approval from the Bank of Ghana.

However activities of Fintechs and electronic payments are also expected to boom.

The Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse has expressed his delight on the passage of the law. 

He said the law will open up the electronic payment space for players to provide greater services to customers.

Ghana going cash-lite

The Bank of Ghana has set 2024 as a deadline for the country to move towards an era where little cash is used in financial transactions. 

The move is part of efforts to reduce the cost of doing business and improve revenue collections in the country. 

The government has said it would start electronic payments for its services from June this year. 

This has been influenced by mobile number interoperability. A 2016 Bank of Ghana Report revealed that the use of physical cash as the medium of exchange was on a continuous decline due to the increase in the use of other sources of payment, including cards, mobile money and the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) Instant Pay.