Last week, the Bank of Ghana outlined its digital strategy for 2019 through 2024.
The Bank Of Ghana’s strategic plan, termed “National Payment Systems Strategic Plan (2019-2024)”, sets the regulator’s policy direction and guidelines that will promote an enabling environment to develop the Ghanaian payment and financial systems. It leverages opportunities provided by digital technologies to promote competition, efficiency, innovation, and financial inclusion within the payment ecosystem.
Bank of Ghana
The Central Bank of Ghana traces its roots to the Bank of the Gold Coast (BGC) or Ghana Commercial Bank, where it was nurtured. As soon as local politicians and economists saw political independence insight in the mid-1950s the agitation for a central bank was revived. It was argued that a central bank was one institution that would give true meaning to political independence. It may be recalled that way back in 1947 some leading politicians had called for the establishment of a national bank with central bank functions to act as bankers to the government and to cater for the indigenous sector of the economy.
Proposals of the advocates for a central bank were accepted and in early 1955 another Select Committee was set up by the Government to take a new look at the Trevor Report and prepare the grounds for the establishment of a central bank in Ghana. The BGC had already set the stage for central banking: all that was needed was specially trained personnel in central banking and suitable accommodation for the bank to take off.
By the end of 1956, all was set for the establishment of the Bank of Ghana. A new and modern five-storey building had been put up on the High Street, adjacent to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to house both the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB).
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The Bank of Ghana in its strategy plan stated that it had accomplished goals outlined in its 2014 strategic roadmap. Some of those accomplishments include:
- Establishment of a Payment Systems Advisory Committee which advises the
Bank on payment system issues;
- Implementation of GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP) which allows payments to be sent
across financial institutions electronically from one bank account to another;
- Introduction of gh-Link card which interconnects financial institutions and
systems of third party providers; and
- Migration of payment cards to EMV1 chip and PIN standards
New Goals And Policies
The Bank Of Ghana outlined its main strategic objectives for its 2019-2024 National Payment System Strategy and they include:
- Fostering efficient payments;
- Improving financial inclusion; and
- Enhance financial innovations
Some of the policies in the strategy include Open Banking which involves engaging with banks and stakeholders to develop a roadmap for data sharing and put out a standard for data sharing for consumers.
Open Banking is currently a policy in most European countries which allows customers to transfer their banking data over to a new bank or allow their records to be accessed by third-party fintech.
Other policies include an “Account Number Portability” policy which one would assume would enable bank customers to retain their bank account numbers if they switch to a new bank.
None of the policies has a firm deadline but the Bank of Ghana is looking to have these policies achieved by 2024.
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