Government could save much money if it takes the bold step to pay workers on its payroll via the e-zwich platform, Mr. Archie Hesse, CEO of the Ghana Inter-bank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has said.
He said the biometric features of the e-zwich card make it impossible for multiple payment of salaries to people and non-existent persons since a live finger is required to authenticate payment onto the e-zwich card.
Mr Hesse said apart from fighting payroll fraud, paying public sector workers through the biometric payments system would also play a big role in promoting a cash-lite regime and also pave the way into an electronic payment regime in the country.
He cited as example the National Service Secretariat which was able to save about GH₵ 140 million within a year after it signed onto the e-zwich platform as a means of paying national service personnel.
The Acting Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, who spoke on the usefulness of the e-zwich platform, said through the biometric e-zwich platform the NSS was able to weed out about 35,000 duplicated and non-existent personnel names on the scheme.
He told a user group forum organised by global technology company, EDAPT and the GhIPSS that the Scheme had benefitted greatly from the use of the platform.
“We have on the average saved about GH¢12.2 million a month and within one year, we have saved over GH¢140 million.”
“On the average, the scheme is paying about 75,000 service personnel a month, currently we are paying on the average, 40,000 personnel a month, and we couldn’t have done this without the GhIPSS platform,” he said.
He said through the biometric feature the scheme was able to strike out the names of people who had become perpetual service personnel.
“We even saw some individuals in the system like 15 times, same user name but with different pictures, but of course the finger prints cannot be different in the system.”
“We have blocked all of them and what we intend to do is to write their names and submit to the security agencies because as far as we are concerned they are cheating the state,” he said.