Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has introduced the launch of the bank-wide GhanaPay mobile wallet to encourage the rise of the country’s cashless and financially-inclusive ecosystem.
The mobile money service is to be launched as an open application and will be offered universally across all the country’s incumbent and rural banks, including various savings and loan companies.
In a major step forward for Ghana’s rate of financial inclusion, which at times has only included 30 per cent of the country’s total population, the service will be accessible to anyone with a mobile phone or yam phone, regardless of whether they have a traditional bank account or not.
The service, which is expected to operate like an existing finance app, will offer its users a range of financial services, including the option to send money and pay bills. It can also be used to cash in and cash out, buy airtime, and data, and also pay for goods and services through a GhQR merchant.
Speaking at the launch of the service on Wednesday 15 June, Bank of Ghana governor Dr. Ernest Addison identifies how its introduction would work to complement Ghana’s journey toward a cashless and more inclusive financial economy.
“Ghana’s progress in migrating to electronic payments has been laudable,” he said in his speech. “In less than a decade, GhIPSS Instant Pay transactions valued at GH¢420,000 in 2016 surged exponentially to GH¢31.4billion in 2021. In tandem, both the value of mobile money transactions and registered mobile money agents also increased thirteen and four-folds, respectively in 2021.”
Addison also emphasises how, in light of the pandemic, the country’s use of cash appears to be gradually diminishing, stating: “Another key development was that Ghana’s cash usage measured by currency in circulation as a ratio of gross domestic product (GDP) declined from 6.8 per cent in 2016 to 4.7 per cent in 2021. In addition, Ghana’s cheque usage per capita, which was 25.67 in 2016, declined to 18.9 in 2021.”
“The sector’s push for electronic payments, especially during the critical lockdown times, enabled businesses and the public to make and receive payments using a digital wallet.”