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Business News of Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Source: B&FT

Six gov’t programmes use e-zwich as mode of payments

Some six different government social interventions and programmes have adopted e-zwich as the mode of paying beneficiaries as of June this year. This is to promote transparency and ensure that only the intended beneficiaries receive the payments.

They include the National Service Scheme (NSS), the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP), and the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP). The rest are the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), Youth Employment Agency (YEA) and the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF). This is beside the Student Loan Trust Fund and other parastatal organisations such as National Lotteries Authority which are also using the e-zwich.

Over GH¢218 million were paid through e-zwich for these six programmes to over 564 thousand individuals between January and June this year, according to a half year report on the activities of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) a subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana which operates the e-zwich platform.

The increasing use of the e-zwich by these government agencies is expected to drive the electronic payment agenda and subsequently reduce the country’s overreliance on cash transactions.

President John Mahama, a couple of years ago promised to increasingly use the e-zwich platform as mode of payments for a number state interventions and programmes. The move was to foster transparency and promote the cash-lite agenda.

Following from that pledge, the payment of National Service personnel on e-zwich went nationwide and other programmes have since also started using the biometric electronic payment system. The President has also in recent times indicated his goal to channel more public sector payments through various electronic payment platform. This could see more agencies use the e-zwich and other electronic payment systems.

Chief Executive of GhIPSS Archie Hesse welcomed the effort and said his outfit will continue to partner government to ensure that many more agencies use and benefit from the numerous advantages that the biometric payment system offers. Meanwhile a number of private organisations also use the e-zwich as a mode of payment.