Business News of Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Banking Consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong is calling for an immediate revision of the Bank of Ghana’s guidelines for mobile financial services.
According to him the revision is necessary so the industry is properly guided as new technologies emerge. The Banking consultant’s call also follows recent reports of attempts by some telecommunication companies to use the platform to advance loans to customers.
The Central Bank in 2015 released the “E-money Issuers Guidelines” and “Agent Guidelines” to regulate the financial transactions of mobile telecom operators in the country. The E-money Issuers Guidelines for instance required that the telecom operators established a separate business entity to handle their electronic money services.
The Bank of Ghana also explained that the directive was to; ensure that electronic money is only provided by (a) financial institutions regulated under the Banking Act, 2004 (Act 673); or (b) duly licenced non-bank entities which are engaged solely in the business of e-money and activities related or incidental to the business of e-money, and which are regulated and supervised by the Bank of Ghana. But one year on, some telecom operators are reportedly abusing the system to engage in financial transactions not permitted under the regulation.
Speaking in an interview with Citi Business News on the development, the Banking consultant and Head of the Osei Tutu II Centre for Executive Education and Research, Nana Otuo Acheampong maintained that the BOG must necessarily revise the guidelines to meet the evolving trends within Ghana’s financial sector.
“At the moment, the regulation they have covers the payment system which is under the payment system Act of 2003. Now when they move into giving loans, then they are going into a new territory but the present guidelines is sufficient to regulate them in what they do because the amount that they can transfer there are limit to what they do, it is not unlimited,” he said.
“But moving forward, I think the BoG must revise the regulation and look at it again in terms of the actual figures that are involved in all transactions,” Nana Otuo Acheampong added. Similar concerns have been raised by the Managing Director of CAL Bank, Frank Adu Junior.
According to him, a clear policy direction stating the extent to which telcos can roll out financial products will aid customers and properly enhance the drive for financial inclusion. Frank Adu however warned that the financial sector could face the same debacle that hit the microfinance sector recently due to improper supervision. “You cannot sit there and let that happen.
The same way we sat there and let the microfinance companies evolve without restrictions under the same armbit of financial inclusion. Financial inclusion, we all go for it but it must controlled and be in the policy frame work,” he stressed.