Ghana`s central bank, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) must be guided in its monetary sector roles in this COVID-19 menace. Among others, the following must be pursued specifically to make online payments affordable and accessible
1. The BoG would need to advocate for and reduce the cost associated with digital payments acting together with the relevant stakeholders
BoG must facilitate the use of digital platforms for transactions within this trying times to reduce stress in accessing money by all as well as reduce the use of cash which can be good surfaces for viruses
The central bank will need to coordinate telcos and banks to reduce the cost of momo transactions and digital banking platforms. Checking of balance, and other non-payment online banking services must remain free for at least a year.
2. Banks must reschedule loan repayment periods for customers who request and loan payments should be halted for at least 6 months if individuals cannot afford now.
The BOG should direct banks to accept any loan payment reschedules by individuals and corporate customers of between 6-12 months. These would reduce lots of burden on especially those who’s livelihood may be affected
3. GRA, BoG,MOFEP, and NCA must work together in coming up with plans to remove all talk tax and other taxes on data and communication charges to reduce the cost of digital communication and communication over the internet or phone. This measure will further make social distance without affecting quality communication.
Also, this is the time online services, educational lectures, religious activities and work are moving online to further social distancing. The high cost of internet services would gravely affect people’s ability to be productive hence stakeholders must be interested in beating down costs on the final consumers.
BOG has a role to play in making banking and digital payments accessible and affordable during these trying times while the NCA, GRA and Finance Ministry’s collaborative effort is needed for reduced cost of communication, internet and data services.
Source: Markie Hub