The Bank of Ghana has said the expected implementation of the central bank digital currency will not disrupt or negatively impact the operations of mobile money operators. Rather, the central bank expects the digital currency to improve the efficiency of Ghana’s settlement systems as well as to “fast-track cross border trade.”
CBDC to Complement Mobile Money
The Ghanaian central bank has moved to allay fears that the implementation of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) known as the e-cedi might adversely impact the operations of mobile money operators (MNO). In a speech delivered at the recently held stakeholder’s forum, Clarence Blay, the Bank of Ghana (BOG)’s assistant director of fintech and innovation said the central bank would ensure that operations of MNOs are not disrupted.
In the Joy Online report, Blay is quoted outlining the principles guiding the BOG as it moves ahead with plans to launch the CBDC. He reportedly said:
For the central bank, one of the critical principle[s] guiding the roll-out of the e-cedi is to complement already existing mobile money operations. [The] e-cedi will not supplant already existing platforms, but rather enhance mobile money services, making it more vibrant and efficient.
In addition to making mobile money services more efficient, the assistant director reportedly claimed that the CBDC will boost the operations of MNOs. Boosting MNOs in turn will promote financial inclusion, the report added.
Mobile Money Operators Must Embrace CBDC
According to Blay, some stakeholders from the Kenyan mobile money sector have “attested that the e-cedi or CBDC will help in cost reduction.” They have also said that digital currency will deepen interoperability as well as improve the efficiency of settlements.
In the meantime, Eli Hini, CEO of Mobile Money Ghana Limited, is quoted in the same report stating that a properly implemented CBDC will bring benefits to the operations of MNOs. There is also an expectation that the e-cedi “will fast-track cross border trade while reducing the risk of carrying bulk cash.”
Therefore, instead of being fearful of the CBDC, Hini urged players in the mobile money ecosystem to prepare their business
es for the inevitable launch of the e-cedi.