Ghana bank officials study extended national electronic platform

Banks officials in Ghana have undergone a two-day training on the use and the potential procedures for the utilisation of the extended national electronic platform.

The platform will enable a lot of transactions and switching to be done. When the new switch is fully installed, all the automated teller machine (ATMs) will accept any of the existing ATMs.

This means that bank customers irrespective of where they save can undertake ATM transactions on any machine they come across.

Additionally all ATM cards will work on all e-zwich Point of Sales (POS), implying that people will be able to shop with the existing ATM cards that they have, alongside the e-zwich cards.

The electronic platform will also be connected to foreign cards such as Visa and MasterCard, ensuring interoperability among the various cards.

The rollout of these functions will be in phases with some of them taking place by the last quarter of the year.

Mr Archie Hesse, General Manager in charge of Project and Business Development at GhIPSS told journalists at the end of the workshop, that bank customers would enjoy a lot of flexibilities in accessing their monies lodged with the banks.

This is because, they will be able to access their money through any ATM, adding that when it also becomes possible for people to use their normal  ATM cards to shop directly without having to load cash on the card, it would improve the culture of buying with payment cards, which would in turn encourage shop owners to secure POS.

Mr Hesse also said it would be possible for foreign cards such as Visa and MasterCard to be locally generated to reduce cost and provide business opportunities for the local economy.

Ghana has had the national payment platform, the e-zwich since 2007 but there are currently new installations underway to enhance its capacity.

“These additional functions of the national platform will change the payment landscape and bring about new businesses within the financial sector,” Mr Hesse added.

The workshop was attended by bank officials from the Information Technology, the Business Development unit as well as the Operations units of the various banks.

Officials of the banks were excited about the prospects of the project, which will make Ghana’s payment system comparable to that of the advanced countries.

Source: GNA

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