The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has charged financial technology companies (Fintechs) to explore the enormous opportunities in the traditional financial services sector – “susu” operations.
In addition, the Central Bank, urged fintechs to invest in ventures that would capture the “technologically savvy youth” through tailor-made digitally enabled financial solutions to meet their needs.
Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, said this in a speech read on his behalf at the just ended second edition of the Ghana FinTech Awards, noting that this would increase financial inclusion and support economic stability.
He said Fintechs were playing an increasingly important role in the financial system by offering new and innovative ways for individuals and businesses to manage financial resources, make payments and access credit.
The Governor noted that such effort was contributing to financial inclusion, economic growth and societal well-being, and urged fintechs to do more through the provision of digital financial services in susu operations.
He said: “We must not ignore the low-hanging fruits. A case in point is the traditional susu model, which has a lot in common with crowdfunding. With the Bank of Ghana’s crowdfunding policy, the enabling regulatory regime has been provided for Fintechs to explore and enhance this financial model familiar to Ghanaians.”
He noted that susu – a hybrid system of savings, investment and credit, had a strong appeal among the unbanked and underserved and could be a comprehensive solution to some of the country’s inclusion problems.
Dr Addison pledged that the Bank of Ghana would continue to work with fintechs to ensure that financial services were provided to all Ghanaians, regardless of their income or location by encouraging and providing a conducive regulatory environment.
Lauding fintechs for the contribution of the financial services sector and the Ghanaian economy, he said: “Prior to the emergence of fintechs, the unbanked and underserved were not profitable market segments for the traditional players in the financial service industry based on the branch model.”
He added that: “With the advent of fintechs and leveraging the extensive network of mobile telephony, savings, credit, insurance, investment, and pension products are now available across the length and breadth of the country, and even in geographically challenging locations.”
Players in the sector, during a panel discussion underscored the essence of the sector to economic growth, and called on the Government and other regulatory bodies to enhance the fintech ecosystem for increased growth.
On this issue, Mr Darryl Abraham Mawutor, Growth Director of Taptap Send, Africa, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said it was important for the Government to relax regulations and tax systems to support the sector.
He said: “When we relax regulation a bit, it will allow other fintech companies to get into the industry – the more regulations the Government and regulators put in the way, the less likely for fintech to grow.”
“For the government to help the fintech industry to grow, it must scrap something like e-levy which is a tax on an already struggling industry, e-levy, proportionally or disproportionally affects the industry than anything,” he emphasised.
Mr Mawutor then called on the Government to strategize and restructure its tax policies within the e-commerce and fintech industry to focus more on corporations than individuals.
He also called for the synergy between education and the fintech industry to know the trends and development within the fintech industry for people to explore career options for themselves.