The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPPS) in conjunction with electronic payments and aggregation solutions firm, Etranzact, have launched the Gh-link EMV Prepaid and Debit Card.
This electronic payment card which is an upgrade of the Ghlink Card, have multichannel and omnichannel features that enable cardholders to use a most convenient payment channel and a best fit in meeting their need for the payment of a good, service, funds transfer or access of cash.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, CEO of Ghipps, Archie Hesse explained this new card will cement the government’s rapid digitization and financial inclusion agenda.
Mr Hesse said, “By 31 December this year, all banks must issue this card to every bank account holder. The need for Ghana to embark on this journey is very clear. In the past, Ghana had only an international scheme card.”
He added, “It means that if we have to be issued with a card to have access to our bank accounts to use it at the ATM or the Point of Sale, it must either be a Visa or Master Card. The problem we have is this that anytime we use these international cards locally, they are processed outside.”
“To pay for it, we need to use our hard-earned forex for it. Also, the prices are not determined by us but the owners of the international scheme. It was in light of this that we embarked on this journey,” he said.
Also, Executive Director for eTranzact Ghana Ltd, George Babafemi explained that GhIPPS migrated its gh-link platform to Europay, Master Card and Visa (EMV) to conform to global payment card standards. He further explained that “funding the gh-link prepaid card is fun because it can source funding from any mobile wallet, bank account, another cardholder and so on”.
Meanwhile, banks in Ghana have been issued a firm warning against sticking to the traditional mode of banking. With government’s rapid digitization agenda which has brought about the interoperability, some banks are slowing catching the pace with digital banking services and applications.
But even as they catch up, financial technology companies and agents are rapidly stepping in with innovative modes of online money transactions. Speaking at the launch of the GH-Link EMV Card by Ghipps and Etranzact, Director for Payment Systems Department at the Bank of Ghana, Dr Settor Amediku warned the laggards could soon be kicked out of banking altogether.
To deepen the use of this new card, GhIPPS has entered an agreement with an oil marketing company (OMC) – Goil to provide all motorists with the card.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, had earlier launched what has been described as the world’s first dual-purpose EMV and financial inclusion payment card in Accra.
Known as the Gh Dual Card, the new product, being rolled out by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS), is a two-in-one payment card that has both the e-zwich and gh-link applications. It can, therefore, be used either as e-zwich, gh-link or both as desired on payment platforms.
According to officials of GhIPPS, the card has been designed to give cardholders access to both funds on their e-zwich cards and in their bank accounts at the same time and seeks to eliminate the inconvenience that comes with carrying multiple cards.
The card can be used by cardholders for any point of sale purchase across merchant locations; ATM cash withdrawals; ATM PIN change; and Balance Enquiry. Thus, any customer who has an e-zwich card and also owns a bank account can opt for a Gh Dual Card instead of two separate cards.