GhIPSS lauds decision to pay workers via e-zwich

EzwichThe Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems, (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse has lauded government’s decision to pay public sector workers via the biometric e-zwich card.

President John Mahama at the opening of a two day High Level Conference on National Anti-corruption Action Plan announced that the National Service Secretariat would start paying allowances of services personnel on the e-zwich card.

This initiative, he said, would subsequently be extended to cover all government subvented organisations in effort to fight corruption.

Speaking in an interview, the GhIPSS Chief Executive Officer commended the President for the decision and said GhIPSS is ready and able to accomplish the task.

Mr Hesse said the biometric features of the e-zwich card make it impossible for multiple payment of salaries and people who do not exist cannot cash monies paid them, since a live finger is required to access monies paid onto the e-zwich card.

He said apart from fighting payroll fraud, paying public sector workers through the biometric payments system would also play a monumental role in ushering Ghana into an electronic payment regime.

He explained that if public sector workers get part of their salaries on their e-zwich card, then there would be greater motivation for them to use the cards to shop, rather than using cash.

Additionally, ATM associated fraud is avoided because, it does not use pin numbers but a live finger to authenticate any transaction on the card.

GhIPSS has been rolling out a number of point of sales terminals (POS) in excess of 200 in Accra alone and these terminals accept both e-zwich and normal ATM cards.

Mr Hesse expressed the hope that if all public sector workers get paid on the card, they would find it convenient to use it at the POS.

He explained that the moment, shop owners and other service providers get to know that the huge number of people would have active e-zwich cards, they would secure and make the POSes available in addition to introducing all kinds of schemes to attract customers.

In advanced countries, the use of cards to shop is the norm and it has caught on well, that card issuers constantly come out with various discount schemes to encourage people to shop with them.

Mr Hesse believes such developments would be replicated in Ghana, the moment public sector workers get paid on their cards.

Governments over the years, have been saddled with payroll fraud with the incidence of ghost names and previous efforts to fight the canker has not been entirely successful.

Mr Hesse is of the view that the decision of the President would have the dual benefits of checking payroll associated fraud and promote a cash-lite economy.

He said GhIPSS would work closely with stakeholders to ensure that the President objective is realised.
Source: GNA

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