The requirement has been increased to GH¢20 million from the initial GH¢5 million.

The BoG captured this in a press statement it released.

According to the central bank, “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.”

The notice further noted that “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.”

Adding that “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.”

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.

The companies have up to nine months to meet the new capital levels.

The Breakdown

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.

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.

Background

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) recently announced that it was going to raise a new capital requirement for all institutions that operate mobile money services.

According to the central bank, existing firms that are already offering the service will be given some time to meet the new requirements while a new entrance will be expected to meet the requirement before receiving their licence.

The Head of Payment Systems at the Bank of Ghana, Dr Setor Amediku disclosed the information while speaking at a CEO Breakfast Forum in Accra.

He noted that “A minimum capital requirement which the BoG will soon come out that if you want do mobile money business you will need to come up with some money, which will be deposited in BoG as a way of guarantee to ensure that you are fit and proper to do the business.”