Thursday, November 30, 2023

Ghana’s Central Bank may fine Lemfi, Wise, others

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Ghana’s Central Bank has barred eight money transfer organisations (MTOs) from offering remittance services without regulatory approval. According to a notice seen by TechCabal, these companies include LemFi, Wise, Transfer Go, PayPal’s Xoom, SendValu, Boss Revolution, Aza Finance, and Supersonicz. 

According to the notice seen by TechCabal, the Central Bank warned the public, commercial banks, dedicated electronic money issuers (DEMI), and enhanced payments service providers (EPSP) about dealing with the listed companies. 

Section 3.1 of Ghana’s Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723) prohibits dealing in foreign exchange without a licence. According to Section 29.1 of the Act, operating without a licence attracts a fine “of not more than seven hundred penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than eighteen months or both.” 

“Approved MTOs are hereby reminded to terminate their foreign exchange flows through their partner institutions only and to adhere strictly to all guidelines in respect of their operations,” the notice from Ghana’s Central Bank read. 

For many African countries,  remittances are an important source of foreign exchange. According to World Bank data, remittance inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa, grew an estimated 5.2% to $53 billion in 2022, compared with 16.4% in the previous year. 

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