About eight different foreign remittance companies are getting ready to start paying remittances directly onto the e-zwich card of the recipient.
The companies are Expresslink International, Unitylink, Payafricque, and ATL. The rest are Moneyline UK, Smallwordfs, Immedi8 and Approve Services.
This will mean recipients can avoid the trouble of going to an agency or a banking hall to receive their monies.
“The move forms part of the broader reform to move Ghana away from heavy cash dependence but more importantly it brings a lot of convenience to the public,” a statement from Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) said.
According to the management of GhIPSS, there are about three more companies that have expressed interest. These agencies are already operating in Ghana but use banks and other agencies as outlets.
The eight companies, working together with GhIPSS, are at various stages of completion and are hoping to commence the service very soon.
“Receiving remittances directly on e-zwich cards, would give the recipient a wide option and flexibility. The recipient can either use the card to shop at the almost 500 hybrid Point of Sales (POS) outlets in cities and major towns in Ghana, or can withdraw the money on the card from any of the e-zwich ATMs or at the closest bank,” GhIPSS statement noted.
Payment of remittances on the e-zwich card also provides security, as there is an audit trail that will indicate when the money was sent to the card and specific moments and amounts of withdrawals. It will also mean issues of impersonation will be avoided as only the recipient can access funds on the e-zwich biometric smart card.
The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, who welcomed the efforts by the remittance companies, said beneficiaries of such inbound remittances will enjoy a more secured and convenient service.
He said GhIPSS will work assiduously with the remittance companies to ensure that the service was available to the public within the shortest possible time.
Achie Hesse said the move to reduce cash transaction was very much on course and urged the public to orient themselves towards the new era of electronic payments.
e-Zwich usage has witnessed significant growth in recent times following a directive by the Bank of Ghana to ensure that all bank branches are actively providing the service. The growth in the use of the biometric card, was further boosted, with the payment of National Service allowance nationwide on the card. A number of companies are also paying their commission based staff on e-zwich while tertiary student loans are also paid on the card.