The Bank of Ghana (BOG) is considering the release of digital Ghana Cedi according to the Governor at the latest finance industry event in Accra.
During his speech at the 23rd National Banking Conference, the Governor of BOG, Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison said the introduction of a digital version of the Ghana Cedi (E-Cedi) will scale up financial access for Ghana’s economic transformation.
The Bank of Ghana is also in discussion with key stakeholders to explore a pilot project (in a sandbox environment) on central bank digital currency with the possibility of issuing an e-cedi in the near future….the opportunities of digitizing financial services are enormous and can be explored effectively to scale up financial access for Ghana’s economic transformation agenda
Ghana’s financial sector has seen a takeover by digital payments led by mobile money operators. For instance, mobile money payments have overtaken bank cheques by a huge margin.
In the first half of 2019, a total of 140 million Ghana cedis worth of transactions were made through mobile money payments. Most importantly, this is a 34 percent increase in transaction volume compared to the same time last year.
On the other hand, volumes of bank cheques have decreased from 3.6 million Ghana cedis to 3.3 million Ghana cedis in the same period.
The growing trend of digital payments in developing markets usually comes with several regulatory issues that have to be taken care of by central banks.
According to the report by CitiFM, Kwamina Yedu Addison also mentioned the creation of a digital national currency forms part of BOG’s effort to regulate the financial sector. He also said:
Let me note that the future of financial services is digitization. But, it raises some key strategic issues for the banking industry including how each institution can leverage digital financial service technologies for growth; whether through competition or partnerships.
Central banks of African countries are actively pursuing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). This development comes after the Governor of the Central Bank of Morocco called blockchain “disruptive” mentioning CBDCs and cryptocurrencies as areas worth looking at.