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Date: 4 December 2019

Ghanaian government intends on digitising public services by 2020

The Ghanaian government intends on digitising its public services by 2020, with the aim of achieving 100% paperless and cashless transactions. The West African country also intends to tag every household electronically, including informal settlements, with the aim of eradicating corruption in the country’s public sector. This initiative comes at a very interesting time for the country, with meaningful adoption by the consumer services sector of digital services, which include mobile money, cashless payment solutions, digital remittances and cloud-based services amongst others.

Using technology to enhance the transparency and accountability of administrative systems will, in turn, achieve in the short term what the country has tried to attain in years. This development is welcomed by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia as he echoes the statement at the Financial Times Africa Summit recently. Ghana, alongside Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire, are amongst the most advanced countries in Africa for digitalising government and payment services. The initiative will unlock numerous opportunities for Tech and FinTech businesses in Ghana.

Verdant Capital is at the forefront of assisting reputable fintech businesses in the country with fund raising, such as Zeepay, a mobile money and digital remittances services provider. Zeepay has teamed up with the Ghanaian government for its initiative of digitising payments for public services. 

This digitising strategy is creating significant growth for the economy and is emerging as a key influencer that attracts foreign investment as corruption declines and the ease of doing business in the country improves. The country also plans on digitising thland registry, public hospital records and court records making everything available online and integrated. The introduction and implementation, albeit slow to date, of national ID cards is welcomed and viewed as a pivotal milestone for the Ghanaian government as this will introduce an efficient system of documenting all citizens. This system can be integrated with passports and driving licenses, creating an effective administrative ecosystem for the country.

The Bank of Ghana in recent times has enacted 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 licenses under the act cover all categories of Payment System Providers such as Electronic Money Issuers, Provider Scheme (cards), Enhanced License (Apps and interfaces), Medium License (Sub agents for the payment platforms) and Standard License (startups fintechs). New minimum capital requirement for companies like Zeepay have been set at GHS 20 million cedis by the regulator.

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