You are here: HomeBusiness2007 08 15Article 129018

Business News of Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Source: GNA

All banks to connect to E-ZWICH

Accra, Aug. 15, GNA - The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday asked all banks to link their ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) device to the National Switch, the E-ZWICH by March 31, 2008.

The E-ZWICH, a brand name for the National Switch, under the new Universal Electronic Payments (UEPS) technology is to ensure that all commercial banks, rural banks and savings and loans institutions implemented a common payment platform and biometric Smartcard. Speaking at the launch of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) MoneyGram, Dr Bawumia said banks with existing switches were expected to upgrade them to make them compatible with the National Switch by July 1, 2008.

The GCB MoneyGram service would be operated through all its 133 branches.

Dr. Bawumia said the introduction of the National Switch and Smartcard payment system would dramatically increase the number of people with access to financial services.

Currently about 80 per cent of Ghana's population did not operate any kind of bank account and this represents a huge market opportunity for banks, rural banks, savings and loans companies".

He said; "The traditional Visa and Mastercard would still have their uses but what we are introducing is a smartcard that is accessible to everyone and that can work everywhere, both on-line and off-line, even in places without electricity".

"Henceforth all new ATMS and POS devices deployed by any financial or non-financial institution must be compliant with the new (UEPS) technology," Dr Bawumia said.

He urged all the banks to issue the E-ZWICH biometric smartcards to their customers by March 31, 2008 Dr. Bawumia said banks without switches/ATMS and POS devices were expected to integrate their payment terminals directly into the National Switch or through a E-ZWICH compatible switch.

Mr. Lawrence N. Adu-Mante, Managing Director, GCB, said the Bank was undertaking the alliance with Moneygram International because of the importance attached to remittances. "The importance of these funds is so critical not only to the development of our country, but also for the socio-economic well-being of our people".

He estimated that between January and November last year, about 4.25 billion dollars was remitted to Ghana, out of which 1.7 billion dollars came from private individuals alone.

Mr. Adu-Mante said the transfers helped to conserve and improve the nation's foreign exchange reserves, and also boost the import capacity for needy goods and services, including drugs and equipment. "The funds are also remitted for payment of school fees for the upkeep of relations and for a variety of private project.

"It is for these reasons that everything possible must be done to ensure a hustle fee service to our people who are recipients and the remitters abroad," he said

Send your news stories to and features to . Chat with us via WhatsApp on +233 55 2699 625.

Join our Newsletter