Collaborative Effort needed to fight cyber-crime

The volume of mobile money interoperability transactions have also increased twenty-four fold since its launch in 2018 to 10.3 million in June 2021, while GHIPSS Instant Pay volume of transactions has also increased significantly since 2016.

More so, Mobile money accounts have increased thirty-fold, to 44 million in June 2021.

The Head of Payment Systems, BOG Dr. Setor Amediku, made known in a keynote address read on behalf of the Governor, Bank of Ghana, of Dr. Ernest Addison at this year’s Mobile Money Stakeholders Conference organised by MTN Ghana.

This he said, there is a need for industry players to steadily work towards eliminating the barriers that hinder effective collaboration among players of the payments industry to unearth the true potential of digital payments in order to help achieve the cash-lite economy agenda.

Explaining that, the advancement of digital payments within the Ghanaian economy hinges strongly on effective collaboration between the regulator, stakeholders, market players, and the end-users of such products.

Adding that, the strong partnership that exists between banks and non-bank financial institutions for the provision of digital payments is expected to strengthen and further the delivery of innovative value-added products and services to enhance financial digitization.

According to him, the Bank of Ghana has provided the requisite leadership in the development of electronic payments in the country.

This he said the Bank has revamped the payment systems regulatory and legal frameworks and created an enabling environment to foster innovation and competition.

The Chief Executive Officer of Mobile Money Limited, Eli Hini in his presentation also called for massive collaboration to help overcome the challenges facing the sector.

This he said, in all, they are all working to satiate the needs of their customers in order to become a fully cashless society.

The Chief Executive Officer of StanChart Bank PLC Mrs. Mansa Nettey said Ghana’s payments sector is not what it used to be ten years ago.

This she mobile had only just emerged as a crucial ingredient in retail banking. The word Fintech barely existed.
By 2012, mobile was the next big thing.

Technology had become ubiquitous to day-to-day banking access. According to her, banking today has changed significantly.

This said customers are popping up on mobile payment platforms without an existing bank product as a referral.
FinTechs and Telcos have become complementary partners to mainstream banking as they seek to enhance their product offering and services to the customer.

Banks collaboratively embraced the change and invested in digital platforms accessed via computer and mobile devices.

Stressing that collaboration has become the operative word for these companies in advancing their mandate in digital financial services and through that, we have witnessed a scale-up of financial inclusion in Ghana.

According to the Bank of Ghana, there are about 18.3 million mobile money accounts as of June 2021.

These developments have resulted in several collaborative outcomes, including: o Standard Chartered’s collaboration with Fintechs to offer our Wealth Management solutions via SC Mobile. o GCB’s electronic money issuance via USSD channel on its app o MTN’s partnership with MasterCard to provide secure global e-commerce digital payments to about 300 million customers worldwide. o Stanbic’s collaboration with SlidePay to provide digital channels.

Adding that Banks have openly embraced the idea that the we are complimentary to each other’s success and not competitors.

This also paved way for payment service providers, especially during this pandemic era, to scale up access to digital financial products and services.

These efforts have yielded positive results and the mobile money space has contributed significantly to Ghana’s financial inclusion progression.

Mobile money slots are visible all across the country, and the volume and value of transactions are on the ascendancy.

In the new age where digital platforms have become an essential of life like we witnessed during the COVID-related lockdown last year, Banks, Telcos, and Fintechs need to collaborate more to combat the escalation of cyber and other fraud, which Vera Baird has aptly described in a recent UK Sunday Times article, as an epidemic within the pandemic.

Ultimately, we need to collaboratively promote the cross-pollination of ideas, experience, and expertise from either side of the triangle, as a critical enabler for building capacity to address the operational and knowledge gaps, and drive innovation.

Mrs. Mansa Nettey hinted that, in the next few years, it is projected that more than half the Ghanaian p But they need to be assured of safety, confidence, and convenience.

Stressing that cybercrime and fraud related to digital payments are key drawbacks that impact inclusion.

It is in this regard, the financial institutions need to collaborate in managing risk in order to accelerate the growth of digitalization in Ghana.

Stressing that, regulators will certainly play a crucial role in creating and enabling a strong legal and regulatory framework that will help address the challenges associated with the deployment of solutions.

According to her, enhanced regulation by the central bank and the strengthening of fraud detection protocols by banks will help maintain confidence in digital platforms and promote better financial inclusion.

Financial inclusion is multi-faceted and diverse, embracing a number of initiatives, from both the supply and demand sides of the financial ecosystem.

Payment platforms such as Ghana.Gov will beyond acting as a single point of access for all government agencies ultimately boost confidence in the financial ecosystem and accelerate adoption.

Banks will continue to play a leading role in the overall quest for financial inclusion and sustainability in Ghana and the sub-region.

The Ghana Association of Bankers continues to work and collaborate with the Central Bank and other key stakeholders such as the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPPS) to drive a cash-lite society and drive key policy reforms in the national payments regime to provide a platform for Banks, FinTechs and digital financial services to co-create and innovate for a better inclusive environment.

“Banks should look beyond “financing” alone as the venue for collaboration,” she advised.

According to her, Standard Chartered remains committed to partnering with the central bank and other policymakers to drive financial inclusion and a cash-lite society.

We aim to progress this level of collaboration and partnerships further into Africa where SMEs and individual consumers could benefit immensely.

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