Business News of Thursday, 29 January 2015
The ability of bank customers to use their local ATM cards to directly make payment is no longer limited to Accra, as deployment of the terminals has begun in the other regions.
The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems, (GhIPSS) has started deploying the hybrid POSs which accept both local ATM cards and e-zwich cards, in line with its plan to make the terminal available throughout the country.
GhIPSS last year began deploying the POS terminals as part of its mandate to migrate the economy from high dependence on cash to cash-lite, whereby cards and other electronic forms of payment will be become common.
In Accra, almost 330 POSs have been deployed at major shopping outlets, pharmacies, hotels, restaurants and beauty-parlours. Having gone past the learning stage, GhIPSS is now deploying the POSs in the Ashanti, Western, Eastern, Northern and Brong Ahafo Regions as well as towns in the Greater Accra Region.
Speaking in an interview, Head of Business Development Mary Dei-Sarpong said the organisation has started deploying the POSs at a few hotels, pharmacies and shopping centres. She said the deployment will continue until a lot of the key outlets in the regions have the POSs.
She explained that the deployment will continue simultaneously in all the regions at very strategic locations. Mrs. Dei-Sarpong said enough educational campaigns will be carried out alongside the deployment to ensure the POSs are patronised by the general public.
It is common practice for shoppers to carry huge sums of money to shop, but with POSs the public can use the usual local ATM card from their banks or the e-zwich card to make payments, as pertains in advanced countries. Mrs. Dei-Sarpong indicated that payment has been made a lot more easy and convenient with the hybrid POSs. “Instead of going to withdraw money from the bank or the ATM outlet, you can now use your ATM card to pay without physical cash as happens abroad,” she emphasised.
“This is just the beginning, but we will soon flood the system with the POSs and paying with card will become the norm; that is our goal,” Mrs. Dei-Sarpong added.
Deployment of the POSs is being done jointly with the banks, which are helping their clients (shops) to obtain them. Mrs. Dei-Sarpong urged shopowners to contact their banks to assist them in getting the POes. She said benefits from the POSs are enormous, and therefore encouraged shopowners to make sure they avail themselves of the opportunity to have the terminal at their outlets.
Since its establishment in 2007 by the Bank of Ghana, GhIPSS has been working at introducing various electronic forms of payments to ensure that the country gradually moves away from the heavy dependence on cash for payments.