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GFPA welcomes Bank of Ghana’s Regulatory Sandbox

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Sandbox
Sandbox

Ghana Fintech and Payments Association (GFPA) has welcomed the Bank of Ghana’s Regulatory and Innovation Sandbox as one critical component required to accelerate the country’s quest and drive toward a financially included society.

Speaking on behalf of GFPA at the recent stakeholder engagement on the Regulatory Sandbox, GFPA representative Mazior Nyanyo said the sandbox is also key to the development of time-tested, risk-free, and credible products and services to serve the last mile.

She indicated that the Regulatory Sandbox by the Central Bank is directly in line with the principal goal at the Ghana Fintech and Payments Association thus, to impartially promote and accelerate the acceptance, and adoption of fintech and digital banking services across Ghana through the creation of an enabling environment that fosters advocacy, dialogue, research, and digital education, to achieve financial inclusion.

“We at the Association are excited to receive this initiative by Bank of Ghana with open arms as we believe through this, the licensing process of Fintechs as well as our relationship with the regulator would improve,” she stated.

According to her, the sandbox environment guarantees the requisite assurance of solutions that are fit for the purposes they are intended to achieve, that is, enhance financial inclusion.

Miss Nyanyo also commended the Central Bank for its stance on issues of privacy and confidentiality as it deems it necessary for ideas and innovation of fintechs and startups on the Sandbox Framework to be protected from third parties in order to achieve the reason for which the Regulatory and Innovation Sandbox was set up.

The Regulatory Sandbox was established by the Central Bank as part of efforts to enable development of fintech innovations, which minimizing risks to consumers and protecting the stability of the financial sector.

The stakeholder forum was therefore to, among other things, provide a platform for the Central Bank to explain policies on innovations embedded in the sandbox framework and how the sandbox fits into that framework. It also gave clarity to application requirements and processes and also demonstrated the sandbox’s platform functionalities as well as its capabilities to participants. Among the objectives for the forum was also for the Bank of Ghana to engage stakeholders to share their input and feedback.

In a keynoted address on behalf of Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Kwame Oppong, who serves as the Director of Fintech & Innovation Office expressed his delight based on the keen interest from stakeholders to support this special initiative by the Central Bank.

He said, “the boundaries of financial services are becoming increasingly blurred and therefore behooves regulators and other technical and professional institutions to collaborate to promote a safe and efficient financial service industry.”

Kwame Oppong stated that the rise of new technological innovations in the financial space has over the years enhanced Governments efforts of promoting digitalization drive in financial service delivery and has achieved great milestones through efficiency and conveniences in delivering financial products to the Ghanaian populace.

“Ghana’s recent remarkable performance in financial inclusion from 58% in 2017 to 68% in 2021 as reported in the 2021 by Global Findex has been largely facilitated by digital financial service,” he noted.

Kwame Oppong hinted that although this achievement chalked is worthy of being celebrated, there is more work to be done.

“For this reason, Bank of Ghana has created a properly guided enabling environment, through the introduction of its Regulatory Sandbox. The Regulatory Sandbox has been designed for innovators to test innovative financial products, services and business models in a controlled but live environment; and rightfully so, under the supervision of the bank.” he added.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the President of the GFPA, Martin Kwame Awagah, he lauded Bank of Ghana for its stance on openness and their commitment to ensuring a stable financial sector.

He said, “the Bank of Ghana continues to lay an envious path and their stance on innovation is one that needs to be replicated across the continent. This is because if you look closely, you would notice that they are the first institution to open their doors for cryptocurrencies to be tested in the sandbox and thereby leveraging on that opportunity to churn out the relevant regulatory frameworks required to guide the industry. For us at the Association, this is a welcoming and appreciated initiative that we expect all stakeholders to applaud and pledge their support to”.

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