The Bank of Ghana has said it intends piloting the ‘e-cedi’ in September 2021.
First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Maxwell Opoku Afari, told some members of a group known as Journalists for Business Advocacy at a capacity building programme on monetary policy that the Central Bank Digital Currency, “is cash on its own”, which means “it will not be backed by any money but just like the normal paper cash”.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the country to adopt a lot of cashless transaction systems, adding that that the e-cedi is expected to shore it up even more.
“An important lesson from the pandemic is that it has quickened the drive toward a cash-lite economy and this is likely to shape monetary policies going forward”, Dr Opoku Afari said, adding: “The widespread use of mobile money was given an added boost when the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) introduced the national Quick Response (QR) Code payment solution last year to simplify merchant payments and reduce the use of cash”.
“The QR Code has since been made available to banks and payment service providers, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises to enhance business transactions”.
“Leveraging financial innovations, the Bank of Ghana has also initiated processes for a pilot central bank digital currency to further move the economy towards a cash-lite environment”.
“We anticipate that the Bank’s CBDC project would further advance financial inclusion, promote the efficiency and stability of the payment system, and foster competition in the financial sector”, Dr Opoku Afari noted.