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MAS Partners Ghanian Banks to Develop Integrated Financial Ecosystem

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Bank of Ghana (BOG) and Development Bank Ghana (DBG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop the Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem (GIFE). The GIFE aims to enhance financial capabilities and access for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana and generate greater opportunities for trade and financial services cooperation between Singapore and Ghana.

Over time, the integrated financial ecosystem model is expected to serve the Asia-Africa SME trade corridor more broadly. The GIFE will offer an open digital infrastructure for MSMEs in Ghana and Singapore in four key areas:

  • The SME Financial Empowerment Programme will help MSMEs build foundational digital financial literacy skills and gain a good understanding of cross-border financial services.
  • MSMEs in Ghana and Singapore can expand their international business connections in Asia and Africa, through a network of business-to-business e-commerce platforms.
  • DBG and partner financial institutions will provide digital trade finance and guarantees for eligible MSMEs through a digital platform.
  • MAS, BOG, DBG and financial institutions will jointly develop financial trust frameworks to assess creditworthiness for financing by enabling financial institutions to use alternative data sets, such as the track record of successful payments to suppliers and tax payments to relevant authorities.

The GIFE is a collaborative effort across public entities, financial institutions, FinTechs and tech solution providers in Ghana and Singapore. These include the Consolidated Bank of Ghana, Enterprise Singapore, and the Global FinTech Institute among others.

The Chief FinTech Officer of MAS stated that the Authority has worked closely with the Bank of Ghana since the announcement of the Financial Trust Corridor in 2020. The GIFE is an important step to foster closer collaboration between the two central banks and important emerging markets.

The GIFE is aimed at leapfrogging traditional financial inclusion approaches with combined support mechanisms powered by smarter data that MSMEs and financial institutions can tap into based on their needs.

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana stated that the memorandum further demonstrates BoG’s commitment as a central bank to working with key stakeholders to explore innovative financing models. It also further demonstrates a commitment to the Business Sans Borders initiative which they partnered with MAS on to enhance MSME contribution to economic growth and in line with Government’s broader economic transformation goals.

The Chief Executive Officer of DBG noted that the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the GIFE programme mark a pivotal moment in DBG’s mission to provide sustainable finance solutions to Ghanaian businesses and facilitate multi-generational, sustainable economic growth.

The bank recognises the crucial role of SMEs in Ghana’s economy. The GIFE programme will further strengthen DBG’s ability to catalyse SME growth by ensuring that they get the financial solutions they need to achieve their full potential. SMEs are a key pillar of Ghana’s economic resilience, prosperity, and international competition, he added.

The Chief Executive Officer of one of the banks making this collaborative effort stated that the bank is honoured to join this private-public task force in co-creating the FTC trust data framework to promote more trust amongst businesses and financial institutions globally. It allows the financial institution to make financial services accessible and effortless for more SMEs as growing businesses can get access to global trades, and be more resilient against macroeconomic market disruptions.

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