Parliament on Thursday passed the Payment Systems Act 2009 being an act to provide for the establishment, operations and supervision of payments.
Explaining the nature of the Act in Parliament, the deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr. Richard Konteh said Payment Systems plays a very crucial role in any economy from one segment of the economy to the other as well as representing the foundation of the pivotal roles including policy, financial and overall economic policy.
The deputy finance Minister also explained that the advancement of information communication technology has impacted positively on service delivery in the sector of the economy within the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).
To match up with that development, the Minister said appropriate legislation was needed to deal with banking and payments. He stated that the other WAMZ member states have the legal frame work that reflects the most recent development in technology and have also reached the level of modernization of their payment systems.
Dr. Konteh further stated that Ghana had their payment system in 2003 but that theirs and that of the Sierra Leone payment systems have many provisions in common.
Explaining the objective of the bill, the Deputy Finance Minster said it was to provide for the establishment, designation, operations and supervision of electronics and other payment systems. It also seeks to provide the efficient cooperation of payment and to control the systemic and promote competition in the payment services within the West African Zone.
He further said once the payment system was approved, the Bank Governor shall approve the regulation for each payment system and a common legal frame work with rules and regulations. These will include Banks, corporate entities, Government and the General Public, and all will be assured that laws will apply in any WAMZ member country.
He however mentioned that the central Bank shall establish and operate payments on clearly accepted systems and can also determine the standards for the observation of the system.
By Ishmael Bayoh