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First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari has indicated that the inability of businesses to incorporate and embrace digitalization in their business models will undoubtedly create a void with dire consequences for the survivability of businesses during a post-pandemic pandemic.

He explained while speaking during the 5th CEO Summit on Tuesday April 20 that in spite of the tremendous achievements towards building a financial inclusive society through digitisation, the COVID19 containment measures put in place at the height of the pandemic by the Government highlighted the digitization gap and brought to fore the extent to which this gap can be exploited by businesses for economic efficiency and growth.

“Obviously, the more than 17 million active mobile money accounts, provides ample evidence of the increasing adoption of digital payments and provide a fertile ground for businesses to explore digital channels to interact with customers. I must emphasize that the financial sector digitization programme is part of the bigger project of the Government in a bid to formalize the economy through digital technology.

“In spite of the tremendous achievements towards building a financial inclusive society through digitisation, the COVID19 containment measures put in place at the height of the pandemic by the Government highlighted the digitization gap and brought to fore the extent to which this gap can be exploited by businesses for economic efficiency and growth.

“The inability of businesses to incorporate and embrace digitalization in their business models will undoubtedly create a void with dire consequences for the survivability of businesses during a post-pandemic pandemic,” he said.

He added “Let me be clear that this transition will not be an easy one as there will be costs associated with changing business models. But this is where businesses will have to be resolute and remain steadfast in the pursuit of their ideals and take a long-term view of where they want to see their operations a decade from now.

“I am fully aware that some businesses are beginning to internalize this new normal and are taking adequate steps to adopt digital technology in their operations to ensure their relevance as well as grow their business traffic.

“As the surge in customer online transactions progressed, in large part due to the COVID19 restrictions imposed on the economy which limited movements, we are beginning to witness strong and enduring habits that are gravitating more towards online customer-business interactions. A customercentric business would of necessity have to restructure its operations to accommodate the increasing customer preference for online buying.

“To make it easier for businesses to receive and make online payments, some payment service providers licensed by the Bank have been permitted to provide merchant acquiring and payment aggregation service for businesses.

“The solutions are designed and made available to businesses in a manner that does not impose high infrastructure cost and complex connectivity requirements. In furtherance of this, the Bank of Ghana has issued a three-tier merchant digital account with proportionate onboarding requirements to guide financial service providers in meeting the peculiar needs of small and medium scale enterprises. This policy change is expected to facilitate acceptance of digital payments by small and medium size enterprises so as to provide convenience to their customers and also expand the geographical reach of their business.

I must state that the Bank is aware of the importance of businesses, particularly SMEs, in the Ghanaian economy and is working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on a Business Sans Borders project to enable SMEs in Ghana leverage digital technology to improve on their businesses as well as give them access to explore global market opportunities.”


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