Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday launched the GH Dual Card, a two-in-one card that contains both the e-zwich and gh-link applications.
The card, which is an initiative of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhiPSS), would enable cardholders to either use it as e-zwich, gh-link or both as desired by the customer.
It has been designed to give cardholders access to both funds on their e-zwich cards and in their bank accounts at the same time.
At the unveiling of the card in Accra, Vice President Bawumia said, the card would eliminate the inconvenience in carrying multiple cards and deepen the Government’s agenda of creating a cash-lite society.
He said Ghana was the first nation in the world to issue an EMB and Financial Inclusion Card, which would enhance transparency and accountability in the payment system and eliminate “ghost workers” from government payroll.
Vice President Bawumia said government was working closely with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) to ensure that, all public sector workers’ monthly salaries and allowances were paid through an electronic filter.
This, he said, would ensure that public sector workers are paid through the e-zwich or GH Dual Card into their bank accounts by the CAGD, where they could then withdraw their salaries and other financial transactions.
He noted that government was on course to build a robust system and modern economy, anchored on digitisation, which would go a long way to stem the tide of corruption in the public sector.
He reiterated government’s resolve to ensure that all government payment, services and transactions are performed electronically by June next year, while efforts are underway to connect all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) electronically, in order to facilitate revenue mobilisation.
Some government institutions and private sector organisations that pay their workers’ salaries and allowances through the e-zwich, include the Nation Builders Corp, National Service Secretariat, School Feeding Programme and Olam Ghana Limited, while teacher and nursing trainee allowances and Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty stipends were paid through e-zwich platform.
“We’re going to be leaders in technology going forward and Ghana is now the undisputed leader in Africa as far as electronic payment is concerned,” Dr Bawumia pointed out.
The Vice President lauded the co-operation and understanding the telecommunication companies, financial institutions, banks and Fintech firms had shown towards the implementation of the various electronic payment platforms, including the Mobile Money Interoperability Payment System.
Dr Bawumia said the President has assented to the Payment System and Services Act, which was drafted by the Bank of Ghana, to provide the necessary legal backing for the use of electronic payment systems.
He said government was on course in ensuring that the over 34.5 million people with mobile money accounts in Ghana became interoperable.
Mr Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive Officer of GhiPSS, in an address, announced that even before the launch of the card, one million cards had been processed for interested persons and institutions.
He believed that the introduction of the card would further motivate financial institutions to use cards, instead of cash for payment, and significantly promote development and reduce the cost of financial transactions in the country.
Mr Archie said GhiPSS was working closely with the Fintech firms to deepen the use of electronic payment channels and speed up the country’s cash-lite agenda.
Mr Settor Kwabla Amediku, a Director and Head of Payment System, Bank of Ghana, who deputised for the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addision, said the GhiPSS initiative was in line with the Bank’s ambition of consolidating the use of electronic cards for financial transactions in the country.
He said the use of biometric cards was a reliable tool for fighting payroll duplication and helped the Bank to manage the monetary policy and play its regulatory roles efficiently.