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Ghana returns to Paypal-compliant list next year

By: Kester Aburam Korankye
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Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

AFTER being blacklisted from using the online payment system, Paypal, for more than 15 years, Ghana is set to return to the list of Paypal-compliant countries by the first quarter of 2019.

With the country returning to the Paypal-compliant list, individuals and businesses will be able to send money, and accept payments through the internationally recognised online payment platform.

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, dropped the hint at the launch of the first phase of the mobile money payments interoperability system in the country, on May 10.

He said the government had concluded discussions with Paypal to remove Ghana from the list of blacklisted country to open the economy to foreign inflows. 

Unique opportunity
 Paypal supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods such as cheques and money orders.

The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites and other commercial users, for which it charges a small fee in exchange for benefits such as one-click transactions and password memory.

To be implemented in two phases, Ghana’s entry into the Paypal system is expected to be completed by the first half of 2019, and forms part of the government’s ongoing efforts to build a new and modern economy.

According to the road map presented by Paypal, by the second half of 2019, Ghanaian merchants would be able to receive payments for their goods sold online.

 “It is now up to us, the Bank of Ghana, GHIPSS, banks, Fintechs, telcos and merchants to make this happen within this time frame and also to prepare for the opportunities it presents,” Dr Bawumia said and added that “I would ask that GHIPSS puts together a working group of stakeholders to work to implement this road map.

“This presents exciting opportunities for Ghana and we should take full advantage of it. We should see, among other developments, a major boost in e-commerce in Ghana. We are building a new and modern economy.”

Interoperability system
The Vice-President also noted that the launch of the mobile money payments interoperability system was also in furtherance of the governments drive for a new and modern economy. It is expected to largely eliminate the difficulties associated with traditional banking services, such as the difficulty in opening bank accounts, the high costs associated with maintaining a bank account, the need to have basic literacy, administration and record keeping abilities and English-language capacity to operate a bank account, and the sheer intimidating nature of banking halls among others.

Following the launch on May 10, customers would be able to move money from mobile money platform to mobile money accounts across different networks.

Also, mobile money customers can move money from their mobile money accounts to a bank account without any hassle, and customers could move money from their bank accounts to any mobile money account. — GB