Participants of the first Citi Business Festival virtual forum on have acknowledged the country’s efforts towards building a cashless society.
Sharing their experiences at the forum which aired on Citi TV via zoom, they shared spoke of the successes chalked so far, as well as the challenges that need to be surmounted to ensure that Ghana takes its rightful place as a leader in the space in the sub-region.
According to them, the country can move at a faster rate in the use of digital payment systems if the government and the fintechs fully embrace and use the already existing platforms.
The government of Ghana has been aggressively promoting a digital and cash-lite economy. Over the years, the adoption and growth of digital technologies, especially digital payment solutions have created opportunities for businesses and individuals alike.
As Ghana gravitates towards a cashless economy, there are concerns as to how that will impact the way business is done.
The first forum of the 2021 edition of the Citi Business Festival, which happened on Tuesday June 1, 2021, was on the theme ‘Building a cashless society: Opportunities for business and job creation.
Featuring enablers and key stakeholders both in-studio and via zoom, the forum explored the current state of the cashless economy and opportunities for growth for businesses.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse, believes Ghana is in a position to be recognised as one of the countries at the forefront of being a cashless society.
“If I look at the journey 14 years on, as we speak, we have enough products and services than any other country I know that exists in the world,” Mr. Hesse said during the Citi Business Festival virtual forum on Citi TV.
He said that GhIPSS only needed to make more people more aware of the services and also get the government and the fintechs to embrace and use the platforms fully.
“I believe that when it comes to the infrastructure, we have it. What is needed is for us to create more awareness, look at different use cases, and have entities like our fintech [companies] and government embracing the system and using it.”
“I was reading about the race to become cashless, and there was an article that said Canada is leading, followed by Australia, and then Sweden. And their benchmark was debit cards and credit cards. Now we have them, and we have Mobile Money and so many others,” he also noted.
The CEO of IT Consortium, Romeo Bugyei, reiterated the need for intensified efforts to reduce the number of unbanked population in the country.
According to him, such a move will also enable financial growth to improve the welfare of Ghanaians and expand the economy.
“About three years ago, we came up in collaboration with other people for a pension product for the informal sector. So now, my househelp will not go through brick and mortar to be able to get it, but she can within five minutes, buy pension and begin to contribute. And you’ll be amazed how much money is being collected out of that.”
He continued, “So now individuals on the streets can have pension because of the infrastructure and digitization. And if we get more people in this country to enroll for such products, it’ll lessen the burden on government. It allows much money for investment.”
Other speakers at the forum included the Chief Enablement and Information Officer of Absa Bank, Ebo Richardson, CEO of Wave Africa, Hannah Quarshie, CEO of Wear Ghana, Awura Abena Agyeman, and Augustine Blay from the Office of the Vice President.
The Citi Business Festival is powered by Citi FM, Citi TV and Ghana’s most comprehensive business website Citibusinessnews.com, and sponsored by ABSA Bank and supported by IT Consortium.
Meanwhile, the conversation on radio continues on Wednesday on the Citi Breakfast Show between 9:00am and 10:00am with the Chief Technical Officer of IT Consortium, Ebow Anamuah-Mensah.
He would be sharing some nuggets on what businesses should do to take advantage of the emerging cashless economy.