Business News of Thursday, 22 November 2012

Source: Daily Guide

GhIPPS Introduces GH-Link Card

As part of its mandate to migrate Ghana onto the electronic payment system, the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPPS) is expected to launch a new system called Ghana Link (GH-Link) card tomorrow November 21, 2012.

The infrastructure will interconnect all ATMs in the country, and a bearer of the GH-Link card can redraw money from any ATM, irrespective of the bank they save with.

Visa ATM card holders enjoy this service, but the difference is that all ATMs in the country will carry the GH-Link logo making them fully interoperable.

Archie Hesse, General Manager in charge of Project and Business Development at GhIPPS, explained that “if I need money, and I am with one bank, I do not have to go round looking for my banks ATM machine. I can redraw money from any ATM available. This will help increase accessibility and create a more convenient way of banking.”

He noted that “the introduction of the GH-Link ATM cards forms part of activities by GhIPPS to improve interconnectivity amongst banks.”

Mr. Hesse, in an interview with BUSINESS GUIDE, noted that GhIPPS was working with the banking fraternity to decide on the interbank charges associated with the new system.

He noted that “on a pilot basis, a minimum charge of GH¢0.40 has been set per transaction, but that is subject to review.”

He stated that in the first quarter of 2013, the hybrid Point of Sale (POS) device which would accept every electronic card including the E-zwich and GH-Link Cards would be introduced.

This, he said, was also geared towards supporting and encouraging card payments in the country.

“We have had some challenges with the availability of POS devices and one of the points has been that E-zwich card holders can access it. But with the hybrid POS devices all card holders can access it making it more cost effective for the merchants,” Mr. Hesse explained.

Airlines, hotels and grocery shops are expected to take advantage of the new system.