BoG launches local gh-link EMV prepaid and debit card

The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) in collaboration with eTranzact, has launched a local payment card “gh-link EMV prepaid and debit card” as part of government plans to promote a cashlite economy.

The gh-Link prepaid and debit cards have multichannel capabilities, enabling card holders to use a payment channel that is most convenient and best fit on meeting their need for the payment of a good, service, funds transfer or accessing cash.

Dr. Ernest Addison, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), in a speech read for him at the ceremony to launch it, called for the Fintechs to take advantage of the Payment and Services Act to develop payments systems and products to drive financial inclusion.

The Act provides an enabling regulatory environment for the Fintechs to participate in the payment ecosystem.

He added that “the current proportionate regulatory regime ensures that Fintech are not subjected to regulatory requirements in excess of the risks inherent in their activities and also avoids imposition of undue compliance burden”.

A well-developed payment system was critical to the nation’s economic development and therefore the drive towards modernizing and improving the payment ecosystem.

Key among these interventions, was the establishment of GhIPSS to drive the payment system reforms for enhanced efficiency and safety.

Dr. Addison said “the launch of the gh-Link demonstrated that the payment system regulatory reforms are beginning to bear fruits.

“This launch is just the beginning of many of these collaborations we expect in provision of payment services.”

The collaboration between GhIPSS and payment service providers such as eTranzact, under the leadership of the Bank has led to deployment of various types of payment systems, which are providing customers access to a portfolio of variety of payment product and services.

Dr. Addison noted that “Ghana now has a payment card scheme which compares favourably with other international payment card schemes in terms of security, resilience and integrity.

“We need to continue to collectively work together to make the gh-Link card readily available to the public to promote a greater secure, efficient and cashless electronic payment.”

Mr. Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, said the universal banks were expected to issue the gh-Link EMV prepaid and debit card to their account holders.

GhIPSS decided on a local prepaid and debit card because the international cards being used in the country was not processed in the country and the developers of the card decided the cost, he added.

The gh-Link EMV card could be used in all channels such as ATMS, POS, mobile phones and the internet.

The card is linked to the bank accounts of holders and their mobile wallets.

The Global Chief Executive of eTranzact, Valentine Obi, expressed excitement at the partnership to develop the gh-Link EMV prepaid and debit card.

He said Ghana was leading the way in promoting financial inclusion and delivering digital and financial services due the enabling regulatory environment the government had created for the Payment and Settlement industry.

Mr. Kwame Pianim, Chairman of eTranzact Ghana, called for a reduction of charges on payment and settlement to improve the uptake of the service, saying when the cost of digital and electronic services was reduce it would encourage more people to do electronic transaction and help the banks to make a lot of profit.