The Africa Center for Entrepreneurship and Youth Empowerment (ACEYE) has asserted that although the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 are grave, the pandemic presents an opportunity for Ghana to promote and grow it’s Financial Technology (FinTech) industry.
According to ACEYE, FinTech, which provides various platforms for persons to make mobile payments and money transfers, access loans and raise funds, as well as manage financial assets from mobile devices without entering a banking hall appears to be underdeveloped relative to other countries.
However, ACEYE has noted that despite the fact that FinTech solutions remain underutilized and barely developed in the country, its numerous benefits cannot be over-emphasized in the spheres of health, finance, and economy.
Citing a case to buttress their claim, the centre emphasized that a well developed cashless payment system as promoted by FinTech would have reduced the infection rate in this crisis of COVID-19 pandemic as monies (both notes and coins) have proven to be one of the major carriers of the coronavirus.
That notwithstanding, ACEYE calls for all the various stakeholders to leverage on the coronavirus pandemic where cash transactions are discouraged to promote and grow the FinTech industry.
Doing so, ACEYE believes will inure to the benefit to the nation during this pandemic and even after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a research report copied to ABC News, ACEYE noted that “COVID-19 presents a window of opportunity, let us not waste it. In the wake of the cascading effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of the economy and possible contamination of currency notes, digital payment options should be aggressively promoted by government and non-government actors as an alternative to cash.”
The report continued to add that “the Indian government capitalized on its demonetization exercise in 2017 to make a strong case for the country to ramp up its use of digital payment options.
The centre, therefore, lauded the initiatives of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) noting that their recent introduction of universal code for cashless payment is a good step towards enhancing a more cashless economy but calls for more rigorous measures going forward.
“The determination of the GhIPPSS should not be discouraged. The recent launch of the universal code for cashless payments is a very laudable first step among the series of interventions implemented recently, portions of the report read.
The centre again recommended that “an aggressive and coordinated marketing campaign in collaborations with traditional financial institutions should be intensified to increase the rate of adoption. The strategy was quite successful and is worthy of emulation. The benefits will certainly outlast the current health and economic crisis.”