Ghana is one of the countries from where PayPal, one of the most popular and secure online global payment platforms can’t be used. But Ghanaians will soon be able to use the platform when the country becomes compliant, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said today May 10, 2018 in Accra at the launch of the mobile money interoperability platform.
Dr. Bawumia announced that the country has concluded discussions with Paypal and if all goes well, Ghana will become one of the compliant countries.
“I am happy to announce that Ghana has concluded discussions with Paypal and Ghana will therefore, if all goes well, become one of the Paypal compliant countries in two phases. According to the roadmap presented by Paypal, by the second half of 2019, Ghanaian merchants should be able to receive payments for their goods sold online. By the first half of 2020 Ghanaian consumers would be able to make payments for goods and services purchased online via Paypal accounts,” he said.
He noted that it is now up to the country, the Bank of Ghana, GHIPSS, Banks, Fintechs, Telecoms companies and Merchants to make this happen within this time frame and also to prepare for the opportunities it presents.
“I would ask that GHIPSS puts together a working group of stakeholders to work to implement this road map. This presents exciting opportunities for Ghana and we should take full advantage of it. We should see, amongst other developments, a major boost in e-commerce in Ghana. We are building a new and modern economy,” he said.
According to Dr. Bawumia he knew at the beginning that making mobile money platforms interoperable was going to be difficult but he trusted in the ability of the Ghanaian to deliver and that has happened.
“Here we are today. Interoperability is a reality,” he said.
He explained that interoperability is the ability for customers to undertake money transfers between two accounts at different mobile money companies or to transfer money between mobile money accounts and bank accounts.
Indicating that there are in excess of 37 million connected mobile phones in Ghana and that means a huge number of people can be brought into the financial space just by using mobile phones.
“These mobile phones serve as vehicles that can be used to mobilise the millions of cedis held outside the banking sector,” he said.
The Vice President pointed out that mobile phones are actually great tools of financial intermediation- to mobilise deposits and also lend particularly to the country’s micro, small to medium scale enterprises.
“If we are able to position mobile money appropriately, we can turn the fortunes of the economy around. And this would be good because it will affect the small businesses who are in the majority and who are the ones in dire need of our support,” he said.
He said what was launched today constitutes the Phase One of two Phases of the interoperability payments system. With Phase One, after today, customers will be able to move freely monies from mobile money to mobile money accounts across different networks. This means that customers who have mobile money accounts with say, MTN can easily transfer or receive money from other networks such as Tigo, Airtel or Vodafone, he explained
Following today’s launch he indicated that mobile customers can move money from their mobile money accounts to bank accounts without any hassle.
“Thirdly, after today, from the bank side customers can move money from their bank account to mobile money accounts,” he added.
He stated further that Phase Two of the interoperability platform will complete the Financial Inclusion Triangle by allowing the movement of monies between and among Telcos, banks, and e-zwich accounts in a seamless manner – and the flow is back-to-back. Also, upon completion of Phase Two, customers will be able to pull monies from bank accounts to their mobile money accounts.
“The ezwich integration is ongoing and the central bank has informed me that all Banks will be required to complete the integration that allows customers to pull monies from bank accounts to their mobile money accounts by July 15 this year. I will like to thank the banks for their cooperation and appeal to them to make this possible on time. This will make Ghana one of the leaders in the interoperability payments space in the world,” he said.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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