Ghana’s central bank has launched GhanaPay, a mobile wallet for savings and loans companies and banks, including rural and community banks.
Speaking at the launch of the program Wednesday (June 15), Bank of Ghana Governor Dr. Ernest Addison called GhanaPay a milestone in the digitization of the country’s financial system.
“Banks in Ghana are re-inventing themselves and have continued to respond positively to the competitive nature of the payment systems, characterized by increased consumer preferences for convenience and frictionless payment options,” he said in a speech.
Addison said the mobile wallet will reduce the cost of testing new technology for each bank, while also allowing for new ways of conducting business.
“Indeed, this is an exciting development for Ghana’s payment systems landscape and demonstrates how collaboration with the banking sector can proffer solutions for the transformation and deepening of the payments ecosystem,” he said.
Addison noted that Ghana has made “laudable” progress in its shift to electronic payments, with instant payment transactions rising from 420,000 cedi (about $52,800) in 2016 to 31.4 billion cedi (about $3.9 billion) last year.
Meanwhile, the country’s cash in circulation as a ratio of its gross domestic product (GDP) fell from 6.8% in 2016 to 4.7% in 2021, while check use per capita went from 25.67 in 2016 to 18.9 in 2021, according to the speech.
In March, the Bank of Ghana said it wanted to make sure the nation’s digital currency would be operational on payments platforms run by mobile phone service providers.
“It is important that the eCedi is implemented to complement and enhance the existing payment systems,” the central bank said at the time. “The various existing electronic and mobile payment solutions will therefore have to be interoperable with the eCedi to enable their utilization of the eCedi.”