The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on Tuesday, May 12, launched the Integrated ICT System, which automates all the operations of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) in the country.
Speaking at the Jubilee House, Dr. Bawumia said the system is an information technology solution that would address payment and settlement challenges of MASLOC and bring about efficiency into its operations.
The platform, which is a collaboration between the Centre and the ARP Apex Bank, and is designed by Eban Capital, automates end-to-end process of credit management, loan application, credit assessment, disbursement of loan repayment and monitoring, and reporting all to make loans assessable.
Persons who wish to apply will need the business name, TIN, a digital address, passport picture and a valid identity card, among other things.
He said before the Covid-19 pandemic, the government had embarked on an aggressive digitization programme.
Dr. Bawumia added that the pandemic had reaffirmed the position of the President that building a digital economy was the way go, adding that “the COVID-19 has been destructive in many ways, but destructive events can catalyze change for the better.”
He said it would not be business as usual after this crisis, and that there would be increased reliance and confidence in technology, with online payment systems radicalized, leaving institutions with no option but to subscribe to digital service delivery.
Dr. Bawumia said Ghana is on course as far the digitization is concerned, and that the architecture that they are putting in place is preparing the country well for the post-COVID-19 global economy.
He said MASLOC is poised to effectively deliver on its objectives by providing funds for SMEs, especially the unbanked population who formed a greater percentage of the informal sector of the economy, and also position the Centre for the next world order of service delivery.
He explained that this would also help enhance government’s efforts at formalizing the informal sector of the economy, and commended the partnership with ARB Apex Bank because a lot of the SMEs were very much in the informal sector and still unbanked.
“This system will help us not to only reach the unbanked, but also formalize the economy because it will require a TIN number, digital address among others.”
He added that the digitization would also bring more efficiency into the operations of MASLOC.