ECOBANK Ghana has introduced the first-ever Visa Credit Card onto the Ghanaian market saying it offers users the opportunity to address the issues of risk and inefficiency associated with cash transaction within and outside the country.
Known as the ECOBANK Visa Gold Credit Card, it is basically an unsecured credit card that provides a line of credit without having to put any money upfront to secure the debt, unlike the secured credit card.
The Bank Group, with 19 branches in West and Central Africa, has also introduced the Visa Card specifically targeted at government, government officials, Ministries, Departments and Agencies to overcome the current process where government officials travel abroad with large sums of physical cash when on official duty.
The credit card operates on the visa network and can be used in 30 million outlets anywhere in the world and more that 800,000 ATMS with the Visa logo.
The Managing Director of ECOBANK, Mr Samuel Ashitey Adjei, said the introduction of the credit card was a manifestation of the Bank's desire to lead in product pioneering and to remain top.
He put the maximum credit limit of the card as based on the credit scoring which takes into consideration various qualitative and qualitative factors of the individual.
He explained that the card could be assessed by both customers and non-customers of ECOBANK, with verifiable sources of income, stressing that the card was aimed at employees of companies, high net worth individuals, professionals, artisans, traders and other business executives.
Mr Adjei said ECOBANK was ready and committed to innovative banking in providing convenience to their customers. “As a Pan African Bank, we believe we have a responsibility to lead the way in improving banking on the continent.”
The launch of the Visa Credit Card comes one year after the bank was listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
Mr Christian Sottie, Controller and Accountant-General, was particularly pleased with the Visa Card for government and other state officials.
“I believe that this new arrangement is a modernization of our payment systems and will not only eliminate the risks associated wit the use of cash, but also enhance the accountability of funds disbursed,” Mr Sottie added.
He noted that it was one of the reforms of the CAGD in public financial management system to bring transparency and to meet the needs of clients at minimum cost.
Mr Sottie explained that the Department's new approach of payments to the districts had resulted in a 5.2 million Ghana Cedis annual savings from hotel, food and transportation costs, which they usually made.
Professor George Gyan Baffuor, Deputy Minister Finance and Economic Planning, congratulated ECOBANK for helping in deepening the financial intermediation, in Ghana and the sub-region.