Advocating for a cashless/cashlite economy has been a discussion many organisations have been having. The move of the world towards electronic means of living life and the penetration of mobile phones makes even better arguments for the case. The UN, global in its operations and with other partners, has increased advocacy for digital payments through the Better Than Cash Alliance, which seeks to promise cashlite economies around the world in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth. On Wednesday morning, an event was held in Accra, mainly driven by the Government’s of Ghana’s agreement to be part of the alliance in 2014.
The event, titled “Towards a Cash-Lite Ghana: Building an Inclusive Digital Payments Ecosystem” was held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel. The event was to launch a Diagnostic Report which was released, chronicling Ghana’s efforts at going cashless. The report was launched by Hon. Charles Adu Boahen, Deputy Minister of Finance, at the end of his keynote address. After the address, portions of the report were highlighted by Ms. Elly Ohene-Adu & Ms. Aneth Kasebele. In commending the efforts of the Government of Ghana for making more payments cashless/cashlite, the report also outlines how mobile money penetration is contributing to the growing use or cashless services, and exactly how much cashlite services contribute to the total value of payments in Ghana.
The 124-paged full report provides in-depth analysis of the digital payments space in Ghana, whiles there’s a 16-paged executive summary which only presents the highlights of the research. The country diagnostic assesses Ghana’s progress to date in digitizing its economy regards payment. Through the Better Than Cash Alliance, there have been other reports launched for other countries, Peru, and Bangladesh, for example.
Going cashless has immense benefits for the Ghanaian government and its people. Come to think that within the past month port revenue went up by 56% with the introduction of a paperless system, the government is looking for more ways to digitise services in Ghana, and make processes more efficient and transparent. Digital changes will help deliver significant cost savings and improved transparency like the removal of about 50,000 ghost names on government payroll.
The Better Than Cash Alliance has 60 members is an implementing partner for the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion. The Alliance is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi Foundation, MasterCard, Omidyar Network, United States Agency for International Development, and Visa Inc. The United Nations Capital Development Fund serves as the secretariat, Better Than Cash Website.
Some months ago, we had a software developer share his experience about going cashless on here. Most of the scenarios in Eyram’s story prove that Ghanaians are quite aware of the cashless options; we just need to work at adoption better. Positively, the Diagnostic Report launched today will be a great boost to going cashless as a nation.
Also published on Medium.