MTN Ghana holds MoMo stakeholder forum to assess impact of eCedi on future digital payments

By Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Business & Finance MTN Ghana holds MoMo stakeholder forum to assess impact of eCedi on future digital payments
AUG 11, 2022 LISTEN

Pioneer of Mobile Money in Ghana, MTN Ghana on Wednesday, August 10, held a Mobile Money (MoMo) Stakeholder Forum in Accra.

The forum was held on the theme; "Assessing the Impact of the Central Bank's Digital Currency on the Future of Digital Payments."

The event is part of activities lined up for the 2022 Mobile Money month which was launched in the capital last week on the theme ‘Accelerating Growth in Digital Payments – The Role of Partnerships’ is part of efforts to ensure digital inclusion.

After years of success with mobile money and other digital financial payment systems, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has come up with eCedi to provide additional solutions in the sector.

Already, the Central Bank is piloting the Electronic Cedi as part of its move to address its bottlenecks before the rollout.

Speaking at the MoMo Stakeholder Forum, Mr. Clarence Blay, Assistant Director of BoG explained that in a world where digitalisation has become the order of the day, it was important to come up with the eCedi in order not to be isolated.

Mr. Clarence BlayMr. Clarence Blay

He said eCedi is coming to build on the gains in the sector by promoting inclusiveness, positive disruption to the financial service landscape, leveraging the capabilities of FSPs, user-centric design, complementarity, and interoperability.

“We have reloaded that the entities we are regulating are doing a wonderful job and we believe it is import we push them. We cannot just leave them to do everything. We have to be actively involved to deal with the inefficiencies.

“We are going to work with our partners to make the eCedi available on various platforms to make it available to everyone. No one will be left out,” Mr. Clarence Blay assured.

According to him, the eCedi is not coming to take over from Mobile Money but will be improved to make digital financial payment systems better.

“I encourage all stakeholders to give this the maximum support and commitment to promoting the development of this wonderful project,” the BoG Assistant Director added.

On her part, the Head of Digital Banking at CalBank, Mrs. Martha Acquaye whose outfit has been involved in the piloting of eCedi stressed that it is important for stakeholders to collaborate to make digital currency work.

She noted that it will create big convenience for customers and reduce the risk of carrying bulk cash around.

“We believe strongly that we were the right party for the pilot. We have deployed the eCedi on our App. The central bank has done a good job. The pilot has been a success. We from the commercial banks believe it should be interest-free. We encourage the central bank to consider interest-free digital currency,” Mrs. Martha Acquaye shared.

Mrs. Martha AcquayeMrs. Martha Acquaye

She further implored the central bank and all stakeholders to help with education and engagement on the eCedi to ensure its accepted by all.

“Let’s push towards using the digital currency for payments. It should not just be for cash in and cash out.

“As banks, we are very well prepared to contribute our portion in this innovation to make it work,” the CalBank Head of Digital Banking added.

In his address, the CEO of Mobile Money Limited, Mr. Eli Hini admonished all stakeholders to critically discuss eCedi to ensure its successful merger with already existing digital payment systems in the country.

“It’s a new area and it’s important we all talk about it most importantly because we will be able to merge and take advantage of the opportunities of this form of currencies,” he noted.

According to him, after transitioning through various forms of transactions in digital payments, it is important that other opportunities that are yet to be explored are tapped for their full benefits.

He said Central Bank Digital Currencies have become an important tool all over the world due to the opportunities they offer for clearing and settlements, domestic transfer, as well as demand for efficient cross-border value transfer.

Mr. Eli HiniMr. Eli Hini

He further noted that with the eCedi, there will be an improvement in the speed of liquidation of money while promoting security.

"In all these engagements there are always potential risks. We need to recognize them and ensure there are mitigations to support the implementation,” Mr. Eli Hini stressed.

During the discussions, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IT Consortium, Mr. Romeo Bugyei urged the central bank to make protecting customer data a priority during the implementation of the eCedi.

He said the rollout of the electronic cedi is exciting news for players in the fintech space despite the challenges it may come with.

“For us in the fintech sector, this is an exciting time for us…We should not be worried about challenges but focus on the opportunities to build businesses around them. We need to plan ahead and come up with solutions,” Mr. Romeo Bugyei remarked.

Among the benefits of the eCedi, it is expected to improve access to liquidity, enhance the efficiency of interoperability, boost payment efficiency, Reduce transaction costs, promote trust in digital payments, lead to improvement in fraud management, and help scale up innovations in the digital financial sector.

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo