Bank of Ghana extends deadline for payment service providers extended by 6-months

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has extended the deadline for meeting the new minimum capital requirements by 6 months.

The Bank of Ghana

This means that all existing Payment Service Providers, Electronic Money Issuers, banks, and specialized deposit-taking institutions will no longer have to meet the MCR by June 30, 2020, but rather by December 31, 2020.

In September 2019, the BoG stated the minimum capital requirements, permissible activities and fees for all categories of payment service providers and financial technology companies, including a minimum capital requirement of GH¢20 million Ghana Cedis for Mobile Money Operators.

This is to operationalize the new Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987), which sought to provide the legal and regulatory framework for the orderly development of Ghana’s payment system.

But a new notice by the Central Bank has extended the deadline for meeting the new MCR, as well as the minimum infrastructure and governance requirements, from June 2020 to December 2020.

All existing financial technology firms that intend to integrate with GhIPSS are also required to meet GhIPSS’ minimum security and control requirements by December 31, 2020.

The statement added that the deadline for meeting the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and ISO 27001 certification requirements, has been extended from June 2020 to December 2020.

This applies to all existing Electronic Money Issuers and Payment Service Providers that fall under the licence category required to meet the above certification.

BoG requirements

In 2019, BoG increased the minimum capital requirements for payment service providers from GHC5 million to GHC20 million.

The BoG in a statement said, “the emergence of new payment streams, institutions such as financial technology companies and the general acceptance of electronic money have necessitated the enactment of the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987) to provide the legal and regulatory framework for the orderly development of the payment system.”

A release issued by the bank further indicated that “to operationalize Act 987, the Bank of Ghana hereby provides the minimum capital requirements, permissible activities and fees for all categories of payment service providers and financial technology companies.”

According to the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987), all mobile money operators need to set up a subsidiary and will have to seek approval from the Bank of Ghana.

The Breakdown

The BoG in the statement grouped the various licences under the Payment System Providers (PSP) into five – PSP Electronic Money Issuer – GH¢20 million, PSP Scheme (Payments cards like Visa and MasterCards) – GH¢8 million, PSP Enhanced Licence (Payment Platforms like ExpressPay, etc) – GH¢2 million, PSP Medium Licence (Sub agents for the payment platforms) – GH¢ 800, 000 and Standard Licence (startups fintechs) – No capital required.

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