As reported by techtrendske, Ghana has partnered with financial services corporation, Mastercard to smartly integrate technology into all aspects of the country's economy and establish a cashless Ghana, in a bid to become an African economic powerhouse.
"If Ghana is to achieve its goal of becoming an economic force in Africa, the move beyond cash must remain high on its priority list – and more investment will be needed to ensure all citizens are able to access and use electronic payment solutions," reports techtrendske.
According to Mastercard, Globally, close to 85% of consumer payments are still made using cash. "This is not only inefficient but leads to the lack of transparency as well as an environment where criminal behaviour can thrive. In Ghana, the cost of cash is making a tremendous impact on growth as the shadow economy is allowed to thrive," reads an excerpt from the techtrendske report.
"We talk about the Internet of Things but this can't exist without the Inclusion of Everyone, and so we need to connect people to opportunities for better and safer lives. What's stopping us is that we're stuck in a cash-based economy which makes you vulnerable. These are the people – and businesses – that lack the financial services to guard themselves against risk, or plan their investments," says Omokehinde Adebanjo, vice president and area business head for West Africa, Mastercard.
According to techtrendske, technology, driven by mobile devices is key to delivering not only financial access but also the ability to use these solutions in everyday life. They report that 92% of companies in Ghana are registered are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). "These MSMEs have been noted to provide about 85% of manufacturing employment, contribute about 70% to Ghana's GDP, and therefore significantly contribute towards growth by providing jobs and cash flow within the economy."
Adebanjo says, "Delivering efficient, secure and cost effective financial solutions to Ghanaian MSMEs is an essential step to providing the level of support required to grow and develop their businesses. Coupled with a high mobile penetration that is estimated to be over 128% – it is clear that technology will ensure Ghanaians are financially included by giving them access to smart, secure and accessible financial solutions."
Mastercard says it is investing in innovation, with the Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion situated in Sub-Saharan Africa. "Ghanaians are entrepreneurial by nature, and there are incredibly exciting business ideas coming from the market. We want to help these business owners to grow and prosper by delivering solutions that meet the needs of these business owners.
"In just a few short years we've helped connect millions of people through partnerships with banks, governments, retailers and NGO's. Mastercard has committed its support to help the country to develop a cashless economy, firmly in support of Ghana's Vision 2020 goals, and backing its push to be an economic powerhouse in Africa. This is a testament to our Universal Financial Access 2020 commitment made in 2015," concludes Adebanjo.