The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has inaugurated a Payments Systems Council (PSC) under its Payments Systems Department to help drive the development of efficient and safe electronic payment systems in Ghana’s financial sector.
The nine-member council is an advisory body composed of stakeholders in the payments systems sector.
It would provide information and advice to the Bank of Ghana in its work to promote an effective and secure payments system.
Dr Johnson Asiama, the Second Deputy Governor of the BoG, who inaugurated the Council on behalf of the Governor, said Ghana had made strides in the development of payment systems in the past decade.
They include the development of the Ezwich payment system, and the Automated Clearing House for direct and debit credit funds transfer.
These, he noted, had resulted in increased international confidence in Ghana’s payments systems, explaining that the inauguration of the PSC was another milestone in the Bank’s efforts at creating a payments environment that was inclusive and met international standards.
“Credit Cards issued in Ghana, which were formally not accepted for international transactions, are now being accepted in Europe and the USA, among other places,” he said.
“A number of banks are also now issuing credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard on account of renewed confidence in payments systems,” he said.
Dr Asiama reiterated the important role of payment systems as a financial market infrastructure both in monetary and fiscal policy and stressed the BoG’s commitment to developing payment systems on account of their support to the economy and the promotion of financial sector stability.
He said the BoG, in collaboration with the banking industry, was in the process of migrating all payment cards from the magnetic strips standards to Europay, MasterCard, and Visa/ENV chip and pin standard to enhance security and reduce fraud in the industry.
Dr Settor Amediku, the Head of the Payment Systems Department of the Bank of Ghana, said the council would work under the Bank with a secretariat in the Payment Systems Department.
It would be assisted by four thematic working groups, Covering Standards, Automation and Technology, Operations, and Pricing and Legal.
The working groups would consist of relevant stakeholders and it would submit reports to the council to inform policy decisions.
Dr Amediku stressed that the main aim of the council was to ensure the protection of consumers in the payments sector.
Stakeholders represented in the PSC are the Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority, Controller and Accountant General’s Department, State Enterprises Commission, Chamber of Telecommunications, Ghana Association of Bankers, National Insurance Commission, National Communications Authority and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority.