The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has increased the minimum capital for Mobile Money companies from GH¢5 million to GH¢20 million.
This means an increase of about 300%.
According to a statement from the BoG, “The emergence of new payment streams, institutions such as financial technology companies and the general acceptance of electronic money have necessitated the enactment of the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987) to provide the legal and regulatory framework for the orderly development of the payment system.”
“To operationalize Act 987, the Bank of Ghana hereby provides the minimum capital requirements, permissible activities and fees for all categories of payment service providers and financial technology companies.
“The Bank of Ghana in furtherance of its objective of fostering financial innovation has taken into consideration the size, nature and characteristics of each financial technology company in prescribing the required minimum capital, governance and systems requirements,” the statement added.
The BoG in the statement grouped the various licences under the Payment System Providers (PSP) into five – PSP Electronic Money Issuer – GH¢20 million, PSP Scheme (Payments cards like Visa and MasterCards) – GH¢8 million, PSP Enhanced Licence (Payment Platforms like ExpressPay etc) – GH¢2 million, PSP Medium Licence (Sub agents for the payment platforms) – GH¢ 800, 000 and Standard Licence (startups fintechs.) – No capital required.
According to sources close to the Bank of Ghana, they settled on these new capital levels after extensive engagement with all the players in the sector.
The companies have up to nine months to meet the new capital levels.
According to the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987), all mobile money operators need to set up a subsidiary and will have to seek approval from the Bank of Ghana.
Ghana going cash-lite
The Bank of Ghana has set 2024 as a deadline for the country to move towards an era where little cash is used in financial transactions.
The move is part of efforts to reduce the cost of doing business and improve revenue collections in the country.
The government has said it would start electronic payments for its services from June this year.
This has been influenced by mobile number interoperability.
A 2016 Bank of Ghana Report revealed that the use of physical cash as the medium of exchange was on a continuous decline due to the increase in the use of other sources of payment, including cards, mobile money and the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) Instant Pay.