Digital transformation continues to advance in Africa. The Ghanaian government is multiplying initiatives to achieve financial inclusion for a population of which a large part is still unbanked.
The Bank of Ghana last week launched GhanaPay, a mobile money service aimed at accelerating financial inclusion in the country. This service is open to traditional banks, rural banks, as well as savings and loan companies for individuals and businesses.
The GhanaPay service is open to anyone with access to a mobile phone, with or without a traditional bank account. It works like the existing mobile money service, but also offers additional banking services. According to the Ghanaian Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, this groundbreaking initiative reinforces the government’s vision for financial inclusion, especially for the unbanked population, through digital banking services.
The launch of this service comes against a backdrop marked by accelerated digital transformation and “ increased consumer preferences for convenient and frictionless payment options ”. According to Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, the volume of instant payment transactions has increased from 420,000 cedis (approximately US$52,800) in 2016 to 31.4 billion cedis in 2021. In addition, cash in circulation in the country, relative to gross domestic product (GDP), fell from 6.8% in 2016 to 4.7% in 2021, while the number of checks used per capita increased from 25.67 in 2016 to 18.9 in 2021.
“ By establishing this common GhanaPay mobile wallet, the cost of trying any new technology for each bank is reduced and enables new ways of doing business. Indeed, this is an exciting development for the payment systems landscape in Ghana and demonstrates how collaboration with the banking industry can offer solutions for the transformation and deepening of the payments ecosystem ,” Mr. Addison said.