Speaking in an interview, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Mr Archie Hesse, said work is seriously on going to ensure easy access to e-zwich services.
He said existing ATMs would be made e-zwich compliant by installing fingerprint readers on them.
He said the conversion of the ATMs have begun with Ecobank ATMs.
“If you go to the Ecobank ATM at University of Ghana, you will see the finger print reader and we would have more of such throughout the country”, he indicated.
He said GhIPSS is working with at least four banks to convert all their ATMs to be e-zwich compliant.
In addition to the ATMs, he said GhIPSS was rolling out Point of sales (POSes) terminals that accept both e-zwich and local ATM cards.
Over 100 of such POSes have been deployed at key outlets including shopping centres, restaurants, fuel stations, pharmacies and hotels. This he said will enable e-zwich and other local card holders visiting these centres to be able to pay directly with their cards.
Mr Hesse said through discussions, the Bank of Ghana has also directed all Universal banks, Rural and Community banks as well Savings and Loans companies to ensure that all of their branches offer e-zwich services from the end of June.
He explained that those who want to take cash off their e-zwich will have the option to go to ATMs, or use POSes at banking halls, while those who want to shop directly off their cards, can use POSes that will be available at the various shopping outlets.
He said that with the variety of options, access to e-zwich services will significantly improve.
In order to ensure that these POSes and ATMs are functional all the time, Mr. Hesse said a team had been put together to constantly monitor and ensure that they are working well.
He also indicated plans to train and outsource the monitoring and servicing of these POSes to private local IT firms, a process he noted was already underway.
Mr. Hesse said the payment of cocoa farmers and public sector workers will ensure increased usage of cards in Ghana and reduce the overreliance on cash for transactions.
He said Ghanaians must develop the culture of paying with cards, adding that GhIPSS will make sure that operational challenges are reduced to the barest minimum, so that the switch from cash to card will be smooth and swift.
Meanwhile, GhIPSS continues to roll out its policy to introduce cards to the younger population, so they can acquire the habit and grow with it. The recent enrolment and issue of e-zwich cards to second cycle institutions, undertaken just about a week ago, covered 1,641 students from Accra Technical Training Centre, St John’s Grammar both in Accra and Apegusu in the Eastern Region.
Currently, the Student Loan Scheme disburses their money onto the cards of beneficiaries while National Service allowance are also paid onto the card, besides the use for payment of wages and commissions by some private companies.
Additionally, in order to curb the incidence of ghost names, workers on government payroll beginning from the Greater Accra region, will soon be paid onto their e-zwich cards.