Policy makers, regulators and stakeholders in the banking and telecommunications sectors have met in Accra to discuss and work towards the development and growth of an ideal regulatory regime for the new industry of Mobile Payment System (MPS).
MPS or mobile wallet is an alternative payment method, whereby instead of paying with cash, cheque or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile phone to pay for a wide range of goods and services.
The roundtable discussion, which was organized by the Ministry of Communications in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning was aimed at clarifying the interface between telecommunications providers, financial institutions and their Agents to demystify mobile payments systems; assuring customers of the protection of their funds and to facilitate constructive competition that will reach out to the unbanked population to offer value and highly innovative products and services that will meet customers’ expectation.
In an address, the Minister for Communications, Haruna Iddrisu noted that the MPS is a new and emerging business opportunity, hence the need to create an enabling and robust regulatory framework that will define and clarify the relationships between the financial and telecom sectors as well as other private sector concerns for the mutual benefit of all players including the consumer.”
Mr. Iddrisu stated that the regulatory framework will also promote the financial inclusion of all, especially the unbanked population to take advantage of MPS.
He noted that even though major telecom players in the country are pioneering different forms of MPS they are faced with the challenge of reaching out to provide additional value to the un-banked population, especially those in the rural areas.
“This is therefore an opportune time for the full potential of MPS and the benefits that mobile banking and payments bring to the citizenry to be explored comprehensively,” the Minister added.
He announced that to ensure access to ICT in the rural areas, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) is also facilitating the development of common telecommunications masts in unserved areas to facilitate co-location among telecom operators so that the underserved communities can be reached.
He further stated that “it is also expected that with the development of the Government Network under the e-Government Programme, payment gateways will be made accessible to the citizenry in the very near future to undertake payment and processing of key government services like vehicle licenses, passport forms, among others.”
Both Dr. Richard Boateng and Dr. Nii Narku Quaynor made presentations on “MPS and the Opportunities for Ghana and Infrastructure Platform.”
Source: Esther Awuah
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