Proxtera is working together with the Bank of Ghana and the Development Bank Ghana, supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to operationalise the Ghana Integrated Financial Eco-system (GIFE). The ecosystem offers a digital journey for MSMEs, beginning with a financial literacy programme and leading to the creation of trusted credentials, better access to finance, and increased trust in cross-border trade via a Financial Trust Corridor (FTC). The modular nature of this ecosystem allows MSMEs, financial institutions, and business service providers to tap into the various GIFE mechanisms as they expand domestically or scale their business operations internationally. Supported by a regulatory sandbox, GIFE will challenge traditional credit assessment and lending frameworks to fast-track growth and development for local businesses.
Slated to operationalise in the first half of 2023, GIFE will be a first of its kind initiative to provide true inclusivity to businesses in Ghana and support them in leapfrogging into a digital economy. GIFE will focus on 5 key pillars:
- Financial empowerment through the SME Financial Empowerment Program (SFE) – A digital literacy program operated by Proxtera and designed to fill recognized gaps for MSMEs. Completion of the program will lead to the generation of certificates which serve as trusted credentials to drive utility value from service providers.
- Expanded business opportunities through trade discovery in digital hubs – Accessing global marketplaces through a single integration into the Proxtera network, will give Ghanaian businesses the opportunity to be discovered more easily.
- Digital Financing and Guarantees – To encourage and increase the velocity of business in Ghana, DBG and its Partner Financial Institutions will provide greater access to finance for SMEs based on specific metrics in GIFE including “Intent to Pay” data.
Trusted credentials will be used as part of the credit application processes.
- Financial trust building using trusted credentials through select financial institutions in Singapore and Ghana which will utilise data sets across the ‘ability’ & the ‘intent’ to pay. These will be based on frameworks agreed to between the central banks of both countries.
- Capital and equity growth to further encourage growth of businesses.
The initial launch of GIFE will include participation by the Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG) and ANEXT Bank to provide credit for pilot trades in the Ghana-Singapore corridor
Saurav Bhattacharyya, Chief Executive Officer of Proxtera, said ”Proxtera has been working with DBG for the last 6 months on architecting the FTC data frameworks, as an integral part of GIFE. We are proud to be associated with GIFE as a founding partner and support MSMEs in their digital trade journey. Proxtera is also the exclusive operational partner of the SME Financial Empowerment (SFE) programme since its launch on June 15, and the operational, technology & digital infrastructure provider for implementation for GIFE. Proxtera works collaboratively with FI’s and local platform partners in Ghana to implement trusted credentials for MSME’s looking to grow their trade – both domestically and cross-border.”
K Duker, Chief Executive Officer of DBG, said: “We believe that this partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the GIFE programme marks a pivotal moment in DBG’s mission to provide sustainable finance solutions to Ghanaian businesses and facilitate multi-generational, sustainable economic growth. DBG recognises the crucial role of SMEs in our country’s economy and 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, so I’m optimistic that our journey to unlock their potential will yield excellent results for our people and country.”