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24.10.2008 Business & Finance

Ezwich Hits Osu

By Daily Guide
Ezwich Hits Osu

Several scores of Ghanaians yesterday besieged the Oxford Street at Osu in Accra to register for the Ezwich smartcard, a new system used in paying for goods and services.

The three-day programme which will end on Saturday is expected to attract a lot more Ghanaians residing or working in Osu and its environs.

The mass registration exercise which is taking place at the forecourt of the MTN offices will afford all banks operating in the country the opportunity to register as many new clients as possible.

HFC Bank, CAL Bank, Prudential Bank and Ghana Commercial Bank were some of the banks that were found busily registering and issuing Ezwich cards to potential clients when CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE visited the place.

Aku Myers, a student and resident of Osu, told this paper that the biometric smartcard was one of the best and safest mode of payment systems since one did not need to carry cash on him or her in order to transact business.

“I am a witness to these modes of transactions in the USA and it has really done a lot of good to the people”, Frank Mensah told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE.

Over the last couple of weeks, similar exercises have taken place at Dansoman and Opera Square in Accra where 5,149 and 4,765 people respectively were issued with the Ezwich cards.

Officials of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GIPPS) have so far expressed satisfaction with the patronage of the mass registration exercise which has also taken place at the campuses of the University of Ghana, Legon, University of Cape Coast and the University College of Education, Winneba.

One unique advantage of the smartcard which is used in most advanced economies and a few countries in Africa is the attraction of the “underbanked” and “unbanked' population to save with the commercial banks.

The Ezwich smartcard which is part of the various payment systems being introduced by the Bank of Ghana in collaboration with the GIPPS will facilitate access to, and transfer of money, and also remove the cumbersome and insecure processes of using cash. It will also allow smartcard holders to spend and settle various transactions online and offline since it is a new very secure way of paying for goods and services.

By Charles Nixon Yeboah