COVID-19 brought growth to digital payment options – governor BoG
Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Dr Ernest Addison, made a statement indicating the opportunities COVID-19 has presented the country with, irrespective of the strains it put the economy through.
He said , when the government was forced to put up restrictive measures to stop the spread of the virus, the Central Bnak collaborated with industry players and embarked on projects to promote the use of electronic payments
Data accessed from that period indicate that the use of the electronic means of payment shot up.
At the 2021 Annual Bankers Week dinner of the Chatered Institute of Bnakers held over the weekend, Mr Addison spoke saying, in that period, customers of digital payment channels actively used their accounts, while dormant accounts were activated and new customers also joined the lot.
“This shows that the pandemic injected some vigor into the digital payments space and pulled households and firms into the financial technology space.
“Currently, there are more than nineteen million (19,000,000) active mobile money accounts driving the digital financial services industry. Prior to the pandemic, this number was 14.4 million.
“Similarly, mobile money interoperability continued to show strong growth of about 365 percent in transaction volumes and 651 percent in transaction values between 2019 and 2020.
“These trends point to increased consumer confidence and preference for digital payment options in the economy.
“Collectively, therefore, we, as stakeholders, must leverage on these positive headwinds to develop and implement digital strategies to spur growth in the digital financial services sector,” Dr Addison indicated.
The President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, Madam Patricia Sappor, revealed that the value of mobile money transactions for the first four months of this year totaled ¢301.1billion whiles that of cheque transactions over the same period amounted to ¢68.3bn.
She made this comparison when she was speaking at the 25th National Banking conference in Accra on the theme “the digital economy of Ghana the strategic role of the banking industry” on Thursday, November 18.
“If the trend continues which I believe will, the total value of mobile money transactions will surpass cheque transactions by far more than 389bn recorded for the whole year of 2020.”
Her comments come at a time the government has introduced a tax on mobile money transactions in the budget statement for the 2022 fiscal year.