Vodafone Cash, CalBank and IT Consortium customers have been granted the opportunity to test the online version of Bank of Ghana’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the eCedi.
Quoting Bank of Ghana (BoG) sources, Norvanreports reported that Vodafone Cash and Calbank customers have been given that opportunity. But Techgh24 also confirmed from the BoG that IT Consortium has also been given access to the online eCedi wallets and they are using it now.
The source confirmed that the opportunity to test the online version of the eCedi is restricted Accra, the capital, and Tarkwa in the Western Region.
“Those platforms will be open to every licensed entity to integrate soon – and a version will be available in a sandbox for tech startups to test in the future,” the source stated.
Meanwhile, the offline version of the eCedi is currently being piloted at Sefwi Asafo in the Western North Region, and the Central Bank said it is encouraged by the way selected persons use the eCedi for daily purchases such as food, grocery and drinks in that town.
Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Ernest Addison says feedback from the piloting has been positive and that gives them the indication that the country is ready for a full nationwide rollout of the eCedi soon.
“There has been a pilot carried out in different parts of the country and the feedback I have gotten is that people have been quite enthusiastic about having the opportunity to be part of the pilot and even gone out of their way to reload the CBDC using their own resources to be able to carry out transactions,” Dr Addison remarked. “The enthusiasm showed by Ghanaians is a good sign that by the end of the pilot we will be able to move on as planned.”
Touching on the benefits of the eCedi to the Ghanaian economy, Dr Addison it will further deepen financial inclusion and trigger higher mobilisation of savings resources, which will hopefully lead to economic growth.
Offline and Online Wallets
Meanwhile, the Central Bank has created online and offline wallets for eCedi to ensure convenience and easy accessibility for users.
In its eCedi Design Paper, the BoG stated that two wallets created are the Hosted Wallets, which will be managed by the various financial institutions in the country, and Hardware Wallets, which are secure portable handheld storage devices for individuals.
According to the Central Bank, Hosted Wallets require access to the internet to be operational, whereas Hardware Wallets work in offline mode.