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Business News of Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Source: GNA

GhIPSS hails National Service e-zwich agreement

The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has lauded the landmark agreement to pay allowances of the over 77,000 national service personnel through the biometric e-zwich platform.

The agreement was reached after a series of collaborative consultations between the management of NSS, GhIPSS, and officials from the Controller & Accountant-General’s Department.

Mr Archie Hesse, Chief Executive Officer of the GhIPSS, told a cross-section of journalists in an interview that the deal between the two institutions would go a long way in solving the problem of payment of national service personnel.

The National Service Scheme announced a change in the mode of payment of allowances last week, saying from January 2015 payment of allowances to all national service personnel at post shall be effected through the biometric e-zwich platform.

This is to ensure that payments are made directly to national service personnel by cutting down on the existing long chain of effecting payments.

Mr Hesse said the e-zwich payment system for national service personnel would eliminate the incidence of payroll fraud while ensuring that the personnel received their allowances instantly by the press of a button.

Mr Hesse said the use of the e-zwich would remove the duplication of names on the payroll since all payment would be done from a central point.

“In the past funds would have to be sent to all the 230 districts to pay national service personnel but now everything would be done centrally to avoid the problems associated with the earlier payment of service persons,” he said.

He said apart from service persons loading their allowances on the e-zwich cards at any bank, they could also do so by using point of sale devices from registered merchants.

Additionally, Mr Hesse said, GhIPSS would provide all the 230 districts with point of sale devices to enable service persons to also load the money on the cards at no cost.

Mr Hesse said the use of the e-zwich was convenient not only at the channel level but also at the branch since the funds could be withdrawn at any bank.

He expressed the hope that the successful execution of the payment for national service persons would pave the way for civil servants to also be paid via the e-zwich platform.

Currently, about one million Ghanaians are subscribed to the e-zwich out of which 350,000 actively use the service.