Accra, June 15, GNA – Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia Wednesday launched a novelty electronic payment platform, known as the « GhanaPay », to enhance financial services and promote financial inclusion, especially in the informal sector.
The GhanaPay is a mobile money service, the first bankwide solution in Ghana, providing an opportunity for users to have access to unlimited banking services in addition to existing mobile money services.
The novelty platform was developed through a collaborative efforts by the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement System (GhiPSS) and the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB) under the supervision of the Bank of Ghana.
At the unveiling of the GhanaPay in Accra, Vice President Bawumua said everyone with access to a mobile phone could register for the service, with or without a bank account.
Transactions on the platform are free, only e-levy charges apply, he added.
The GhanaPay services are being provided by the universal and rural banks as well as the savings and loans companies to individuals and businesses nationwide.
Interested persons and businesses can register by dialling USSD Code *707# or download the app from the Google Play or Apple Store. One has to provide his or her personal details along with the Ghana-Card to facilitate registration.
Any bank branch or designated GhanaPay Service agent can help with the registration, with a valid Ghana-Card.
Users can send and receive money on GhanaPay and other mobile money networks, bank accounts, undertake cash-in and cash-out, as well as pay a GhQR merchant, buy airtime and data.
« It is heart-warming to know that the banking sector is increasingly looking for ways to extend financial inclusion to all Ghanaians, » Dr Bawumia said.
He said the Ghanaian economy was undergoing a transformation from analogue to digital, which was benefiting the entire nation.
« It is clear that in the near future almost every part of our lives will be driven by digitalisation, » Dr Bawumia added.
« Let me, therefore, commend the Ghana Association of Banks GHIPSS, the Central Bank and all institutions that, from the very beginning, believed in this vision and have supported it through to this point.”
The Vice President was of the belief that the GhanaPay would take care of the bottlenecks associated with the opening of bank accounts and significantly reduce the traditionally unbanked population.
He expressed the optimism that the platform would provide healthy competition to the mobile money space, leading to enhanced services and lower the cost of financial transactions.
« As a government, we will continue to create the enabling environment for such innovative products to be rolled out.”
« It is in anticipation of the Government and I firmly believe that this whole digitalisation drive is going to be the next job and wealth creation avenue for our teeming youth.”
Dr Ernest Addison, the Governor of the Central Bank, said the launch of the GhanaPay Wallet was another milestone in the digitalisation of the financial system.
He said banks in Ghana were re-inventing themselves and continuing to respond positively to the competitive nature of the payment systems characterised by the increased consumer preferences for convenience and frictionalist payment systems.
« The banking sector demonstrated its resilience with the ability to offer critical support to businesses and households during the recent pandemic,” he said.
« The sector’s push for electronic payments, especially during the critical lockdown time, enabled businesses and the public to make and receive payments inspite of the restrictions.”
Ghana’s progress in migrating to electronic payments had been horrible, he noted, adding that in less than a decade, its instant pay transactions, valued at GHc 420, 000 in 2016, surged exponentially to GHC31.4 billion in 2021.
In addition, Ghana’s cheque usage per capita, which was 95.67 per cent in 2016, declined to 18.9 per cent in 2021.
The emergence of new business modules in the banking sector, together with partnerships with FINTECH technology companies offering payment related services, had also helped to close the financial inclusion gap.