Government to start paying civil servants via E-zwich

Government is now set to start paying public sector workers through the biometric smart card, e-zwich from the last quarter of this year.

This follows several test runs to ensure that the platform can support the huge staff numbers in the public sector.

So far, national service persons are being paid through e-zwich card as well as the World Bank also paying its contractors through the card.

E-zwich is the brand name for the National Switch and Smart card payment system, an innovative method for improving accessibility to banking and retail services in Ghana.

The e-zwich system offers deposit-taking financial institutions, universal banks, rural banks and savings and loans, a platform that enables them to interoperate.

The e-zwich POS supports both online and offline transactions. This dual capability ensures that e-zwich services can be accessed in all parts of the country whether or not the area has good communications network.

Transactions such as cash deposit, cash withdrawal and sale are completed offline and consequently could be successfully completed in the remotest part of the country without regard to the efficiency of the telecommunication infrastructure.

Chief Executive of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse said the move is part of measures to bring some efficiency in the public wage bill.

He said the card shows people who are eligible to be on the Comptroller’s list of persons to be paid as well as other details of the cardholder.

He explained that the GhIPSS system verifies that a worker has already been paid, so he/she is not paid twice. 

“That is where the e-zwich system is still relevant. It is a verified system different from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) system which was used to filter who should be on the payroll.  

According to the Bank of Ghana, e-zwich card holders has increased from 496 000 to 1.8 million as at December 2016.

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