Bank of Ghana to diversify ownership of Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems

GHANA – The Bank of Ghana (BOG) has announced plans to embark on the diversification of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) with regards to both operational mandate and its ownership base.

As a result of this process, which the Bank plans to undertake over the next 5 years,  the share ownership structure of GhIPSS is expected to witness increased private sector participation, hence reducing its dependency on the central bank.

Currently, the GhIPSS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana and the recapitalization and commercialization of the entity will be executed in stages in order to enable payment systems providers to make it sustainable.

Bank of Ghana said the key objective of the initiative was to incentivize payment service providers to use and promote GhIPSS services.

The bank hopes that as a result of the diversification, the operational efficiency of GhIPSS would improve.

GhIPSS is mandated to implement and manage interoperable payment system infrastructures for banks and non-bank financial institutions in Ghana.

Its latest achievement has been the successful implementation of inter-operability of the three mobile money platforms on offer in Ghana and the connection of mobile money customer electronic wallets to their bank accounts.

GhIPSS dexterity in doing this has reaffirmed the BoG’s confidence that it can compete on commercial terms in Ghana’s financial technology sector.

It is envisaged that a commercialized GhIPSS, with widespread ownership by stakeholder institutions, will be able to establish versions of existing, innovative payment systems being introduced by competing commercial banks but which are inter-operable.

This will enable it to provide wider convenience and cheaper access – the latter through better economies of scale – for electronic payments platforms users.

In line with its mandate, GhIPSS has implemented and currently manages the National Switch and Biometric Smart Card Payment System- e-zwich.

In 2018 alone, e-zwich had increased the annual value of transactions by 64.7 percent to GHc 5.65 billion for the year, further demonstrating the important role it plays in the nation’s economy.

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