The 2022 edition of the MTN Ghana Mobile Money (MoMo) stakeholder forum has been held in Accra with the focus on Electronic Cedi (eCedi) to be launched by the Bank of Ghana.

This, according to the Central bank, is an alternative to physical cash, to deepen financial inclusion and ensure a digitised economy.

This comes after mobile money and other digital financial payment platforms have been accepted by the populace.

MTN holds MoMo stakeholder forum, focuses on impact of eCedi on digital payments
Ken Ashigbe, CEO Telecoms Chamber

Stakeholders at the forum including mobile money agents shared their opinions on the yet-to-be-rolled-out eCedi.

MTN holds MoMo stakeholder forum, focuses on impact of eCedi on digital payments
Eli Hini

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of Mobile Money Limited, Eli Hini, urged Bank of Ghana to critically discuss eCedi to ensure its successful merger with already existing digital payment systems in the country.

“It’s a new area and it’s important we all talk about it most importantly because we will be able to merge and take advantage of the opportunities of this form of currencies,” he noted.

He said Central Bank Digital Currencies have become an important tool all over the world due to the opportunities they offer for clearing and settlements, domestic transfer, as well as demand for efficient cross-border value transfer.

Mr. Hini added that, with the eCedi, there will be an improvement in the speed of liquidation of money while promoting security.

“In all these engagements there are always potential risks. We need to recognize them and ensure there are mitigations to support the implementation,” he stated.

MTN holds MoMo stakeholder forum, focuses on impact of eCedi on digital payments
Clarence Blay

But Assistant Director at the Bank of Ghana, Clarence Blay said there is no cause for alarm.

According to him, the eCedi is not coming to take over from Mobile Money but will be improved to make digital financial payment systems better.

The eCedi, Mr. Blay noted is expected to improve access to liquidity, enhance the efficiency of interoperability, boost payment efficiency, reduce transaction costs, promote trust in digital payments, lead to improvement in fraud management, and help scale up innovations in the digital financial sector.

“I encourage all stakeholders to give this the maximum support and commitment to promoting the development of this wonderful project,” he added.

MTN holds MoMo stakeholder forum, focuses on impact of eCedi on digital payments
Martha Acquaye

Head of Digital Banking at CalBank, Martha Acquaye whose outfit has been involved in the piloting of eCedi called for all hands on deck.

Already, she said the bank is seeing results since it has created big convenience for customers and reduce the risk of carrying bulk cash around.

Mrs. Acquaye urged Bank of Ghana and all stakeholders to help with education and engagement on the eCedi to ensure it is accepted by all.

“As banks, we are very well prepared to contribute our portion in this innovation to make it work,” she said.

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of IT Consortium, Romeo Bugyei said the introduction of the eCedi is exciting news for players in fintech.

He said players in the digital payment space should rather position themselves to take advantage of it.

“We should not be worried about challenges but focus on the opportunities to build businesses around them. We need to plan ahead and come up with solutions,” Mr. Romeo Bugyei remarked.

The MTN MoMo stakeholder’s forum was held on the theme: ‘Assessing the Impact of the Central Bank’s Digital Currency on the Future of Digital Payments.

It is part of activities to mark the 2022 Mobile Money month which is also on the theme: ‘Accelerating Growth in Digital Payments – The Role of Partnerships.’