Access to Ghana’s e-zwich services operated by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) is expected to improve further with the initiative to allow enterprises to also offer the biometric payment service on the platform.

According to the management of the GhIPSS, it has trained more than 325 agents who are currently offering a variety of e-zwich services including deposits, cashback (withdrawals) and transfers of funds from one card to another.

This represents an increase from about 100 agents in October. Most of these agents are located in the Greater Accra, Western and Central Regions (Provinces) with a few others operating in other regional capitals, says the Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, The agents will complement the services of banks.

Until recently only banks and a few savings and loans institutions as well as rural and community banks provide biometric payment but following an increase in patronage, GhIPSS has decided to allow small enterprises in various localities to also offer the service.

Hesse also indicated that a number of banks were re-configuring their ATMs to be e-zwich compliant. When you visit some ATMs, you will see fingerprint readers; these ATMs are either already accepting e-zwich cards or will soon accept the cards, he explained.

He indicated that every effort was being made to make the service widely available as part of the general plan to promote the cash-light agenda.

A team from GhIPSS, which went around to scout for agents will soon resume the exercise in other regions to ensure that the e-zwich service is as widely provided as possible, Hesse added.

E-zwich has become the dominant payment system for State social intervention programmes such as the Ghana Social Opportunities Project, the Ghana School Feeding Programme, the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty, the Youth Employment Agency and the Japan Social Development Fund.

This is in addition to the National Service Scheme, the Student Loan Trust Fund and other parastatals such as National Lotteries Authority which are also using the e-zwich platform. This development has necessitated the need to have more outlets where the service could be accessed.