Ghana, Nigeria to integrate payments systems this year

Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor, Bank of Ghana

As an initial step towards the implementation of an integrated payment system for West African States, Ghana and Nigeria will pilot, by the end of 2020, the linkage of their respective payments systems.

Ghana’s end of this project will by undertaken by the Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS). This is first phase of an initiative that will subsequently be expanded to facilitate integration of payment systems among all the states of the West African sub region, who still hope to establish a common currency despite numerous delays over the past decade due to failures of the sovereign economies involved to meet the all of the requisite convergence criteria.

According to the National Payment Systems Strategic Plan (2019-2024), the initiative will essentially boost intra-regional trade, as well as improve on the foreign reserves of countries in the sub-region.

The final integration of West African states payment systems will be implemented by end 2022.

GhIPSS is expected to introduce a scheme to link gh-LinkTM with other West African countries.

In 2018, the total volume of transactions on the gh-LinkTM platform was 1.83 million in 2018 compared to 2.34 million in 2017. Also, the total value of transactions was GHc 543.74 million in 2018 compared to GHc 603.43 million in 2017. ATM transactions continued to dominate on the gh-LinkTM platform and constituted more than 99.0 per cent of the transactions in 2018.

National Payment Systems Strategic Plan

The National Payment Systems Strategic Plan (2019-2024) provides a framework for the orderly development of a national payment system that is efficient, safe, accessible and fosters innovation and electronic means of payments.

The plan is anchored on the provisions of the Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612), as amended, and the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019.

The new plan builds on the 2014 Strategic Roadmap by providing a policy framework to stimulate electronic means of payment in Ghana and encourage shared responsibility in the implementation of the Plan.