The Bank of Ghana has further extended the deadline for meeting the licensing requirement it has set for payment services providers, in order to operationalize the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987).
This further extension was made known in a statement issued by the Bank on Monday, March 30, 2020.
The first aspect of the deadline extension is the deadline for meeting the minimum capital requirements by all existing Payment Service Providers and Electronic Money Issuers as well as banks and specialized deposit-taking institutions which has been extended from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
The deadline for meeting the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and ISO 27001 certification requirements has also been extended from June 2020 to December 2020.
The central bank indicates that on account of security concerns, all existing financial technology firms that intend to integrate with Ghana Integrated Payments and Settlements Systems platforms are required to meet GhIPSS’ minimum security and control requirements by December 31, 2020.
The regulator has also extended the deadline for meeting the minimum infrastructure and governance requirements from June 2020 to December 2020.
The new deadlines suggest that the BoG is hoping for a return to post-COVID 19 normalcy well before the end of the year, in order for the license seeking electronic payments industry enterprises to meet the licensing requirements.
The emergence of new payment streams, institutions such as financial technology companies and the general acceptance of electronic money 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 payments systems regime.
To operationalize the Act 987, the central bank on September 12, 2019 issued a notice on the minimum capital requirements, permissible activities, fees, governance and systems requirements for Payment Service Providers and Electronic Money Issuers.
The Bank of Ghana in furtherance of its objective of fostering financial innovation, has also taken into consideration the size, nature and characteristics of each financial technology company in prescribing the required minimum capital, governance and systems requirements.