The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has extended the deadline to meet the GH₵20 milliom new minimum capital requirement for payments system providers and mobile money operators in the country to end of December, 2020.
Again, the BoG has also agreed to allow financial technology (Fintech) firms to convert 50 per cent of their verifiable assets to cover half of their minimum capital requirements.
These were disclosed by the Head of Payment Systems Department at the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Settor Amediku, at the inaugural edition of the Mobile Technology for Development Conference held in Accra.
The event was organised by the Ghana Chamber of Telecoms and the Financial Inclusion Forum Africa.
The central bank initially gave the Mobile Money Operators a June 2020 deadline to meet the GH₵20 million new minimum capital requirement, but the date has been reviewed to December 2020.
In September last year, the BoG increased the ₵20 million new minimum capital requirements for payment service providers from an initial amount of ₵5 million.
In a press statement release at the time, the BoG said the influx of payments service providers in Ghana calls for some regulations to supervise their operations.
“The emergence of new payment streams, institutions such as financial technology companies and the general acceptance of electronic money have necessitated the enactment of the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987) to provide the legal and regulatory framework for the orderly development of the payment system”, he said.
The said statement further adds that “to operationalize Act 987, the Bank of Ghana hereby provides the minimum capital requirements, permissible activities and fees for all categories of payment service providers and financial technology companies.”
Per the Act, 2019 (Act 987), all mobile money operators are required to set up a subsidiary and seek approval from the Bank of Ghana.
“The Bank of Ghana in furtherance of its objective of fostering financial innovation has taken into consideration the size, nature and characteristics of each financial technology company in prescribing the required minimum capital, governance and systems requirements.”
The Breakdown – Payment Platforms
The Payment System Providers (PSP) have been into five licensing categories with each having a stated capital requirement to meet.
They are the PSP Electronic Money Issuer-GH¢20 million, PSP Scheme (for payments cards like Visa and MasterCards)–GH¢8 million, PSP Enhanced Licence (for payment Platforms like ExpressPay etc)–GH¢2 million.
The rest are PSP Medium Licence (Sub agents for the payment platforms) – GH¢ 800, 000 and Standard Licence (startups fintechs.) – No capital required.
Reduce cash transactions
The move to regularise the operations of payment system service providers is part of the BoG’s efforts to reduce physical cash transactions in the country.
It is also geared towards reducing cost of doing business while improvimg revenue collections in the country.
The Bank of Ghana has set 2024 as a deadline for the country to move towards an era of cashless society.
The government has also said it would start electronic payments for its services from June this year. This has been influenced by mobile number interoperability.