Globally, countries are expecting a rapid expansion of digitization and technological advancement that touches on nearly all aspects of life
In general, the surge in digitization has improved operational efficiency and service delivery in all aspects of public and commercial importance from manufacturing to industry to business and commercial operations, agriculture, health, education and finance.
However, this survey by Naa Anyema Collison tells the story of how helpful it is to use digitalization to propel economic development would be for the country.
Cashless Economy is a state where all financial transactions are exchanged only in electronic digital form rather than physical banknotes or coins.
History has made it clear that cashless transactions existed from everyday human beings came into existence but only a few countries around the world can boast of being a cashless state, although several nations are making moves to eliminate cash in the system.
Notable among countries that are said to be a cashless society is Sweden as it is common to see signs such as “no cash accepted” in shops.
Ghana is one of such countries across the West Africa sub-region that are making efforts to become a cashless society.
In furtherance to this effort the Vice president of Ghana has hinted at steps being taken by the government to push towards a cashless economy and this prompted the launch of the national interoperability platform and introducing a universal QR Code payment system.
A country diagnostic study in 2017 concluded that Ghana has made significant in building the foundation of an inclusive digital payments ecosystem and key players like express pay, slyde pay among others have transformed and shaped financial services in collaboration with the mobile network operator and banks in Ghana.
However, for the credit and debit card usage in Ghana, my analysis shows that the electronic payments method witnessed a boost of Gh¢ 70 million in credit card transactions and gh¢ 13.58 million in debit card transactions for 2016.
The credit card boom has not reached Ghana. For some business, a cashless business model is a strategic choice that provides clear benefit while much of the current narrative regarding a cashless society is forced on the downside, there are advantages for both business owners and consumers.
The rise of digital payments, which includes traditional debit and prepaid cards as well as mobile payments has contributed to the steady shift in payment practices among consumers.
Most Ghanaians said a cashless economy is a way to go for the country but the worry will be the high illiteracy rate in the country.
The upside of going cashless is eliminating cash but will be time-consuming in terms of transactions.
Everything would be processed digitally and slow processing would be the thing of the past.
However, the issue of cybersecurity measures must be increased but the cost associated with handling paper money as well as storing and depositing is absent.
For Ghana to fully enjoy a cashless system and have it operate effectively and efficiently, there is a need for illiteracy rate to be reduced to the minimum; high illiteracy rate is a major impediment to the successful usage of the conversion to a cashless system.
Unreliable networks are other challenges facing the implementation of a cashless system in Ghana.
Aside all this the former Finance Minister Seth Tekper said a cashless economy is Good for an economy like Ghana.
Economists also say a cashless economy will help the country in a long way. Not all Ghanaians have the means to eliminate cash the reasons range from tripping to budget management to emergency funding, but the real reason may ultimately come down to formalities.
Cash is tangie, quantifiable and reliable if the internet is down the power goes out or the system gets hacked, cash is there to cover up the transactions to digital and card-based payments, cash seems to have a place in Ghana the foresee future. Therefore cash is kin.
Story byNaa Anyema Collison