Ghana's journey towards a cashless society has been one of the most successful in Africa in the past decade, according to the Founder and Group CEO of eTranzact, Valentine Obi.
Mr. Obi who made this observation during the launch of the new gh-Link EMV prepaid card in Accra, said, Ghana's financial inclusion is the highest in West Africa due to the widespread adoption of electronic systems of payment such as Mobile Money Services.
He said, even though the Bank of Ghana has created an enabling environment to increase the use of electronic payment systems, such services must be all-inclusive and free to encourage majority of Ghanaians to use them.
He said the use of cash is the most expensive way of doing business and thus the introduction of eTranzact gh-Link card will reduce the cost of doing business and enhance efficiency in other financial dealings.
The Executive Director of eTranzact Ghana Limited, George Babafemi, said the introduction of gh-Link, which is currently the only approved scheme in Ghana offering chip and pin card services, is to support government's mission to promote the use of local cards for local transactions such as withdrawal from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as well as purchases from point of sale terminals.
He said, eTranzact, prior to its partnership with ghIPSS for the introduction of EMV card services, has had a solid track record of providing epayment solutions such as mobile banking solutions, ATM switching solutions, collection and value-added platforms to major financial institutions since it began operations in Ghana in 2005.
He said, eTranzact has signed an agreement with GhanaPost for nationwide distribution of the gh-Link cards, thus GhanaPost branches would be available as locations where cards can be applied for in communities where bank branches are not available.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, in a speech read on his behalf, said the Bank of Ghana recognises the importance of a well-developed payment system to Ghana's economic development, hence the implementation of various policies and initiatives to modernise the payment ecosystem, key among them was the establishment of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) to drive payment system reforms for enhanced efficiency and safety.
He said efforts aimed at improving access to card payments to encourage non-cash payments necessitated the introduction of gh-Link to Ghana.
The new payment system, with EMV chip pin technology, according to Dr. Addison, is comparable to other international payments schemes such as Mastercard and VISA in terms of security, resilience and integrity.
He called for continued collaboration between stakeholders to ensure that the gh-Link card is made readily available to the public to promote greater, secure, and cashless electronic payments.