From Wednesday 19th August, 2015 any person who owns an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card can now purchase goods and services online.
The latest development which has been described as the biggest breakthrough in e-commerce in Ghana by industry players follows the introduction of the Internet payment gateway christened the gh-link e-Commerce by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlements Systems (GHIPSS).
According to GHIPSS users of the local ATM cards can now make purchases and pay online using their ATM cards.
Prior to this development only Visa and master card ATM cards could make such purchases.
The introduction of the gh-link e-Commerce will enable full trading over the internet to take place in Ghana with certified international e-commerce merchants with partnerships in Ghana.
Speaking in an interview on Citi Fm, Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS Archie Hesse said the development is in line with its mandate to migrate Ghana to a cash-lite economy.
“What this new service will bring to bear is, it will enable the domestic card holders in the country to be able to make payment when they purchase online on the internet. It is restricted to Ghana however a couple of web merchants that have affiliation with some international web merchants in the UK and in America will also be on board so you able to shop online and make payment in cedi.
Majority is for domestic use for now as we try to connect it to the international sources across the world.”
There are however fears that the development will open the country to cybercrime but Archie Hesse assures patrons of the gh-link e-Commerce platform will be protected from any such crime.
“We have introduced what we call the e – secure, the double secure mechanism very much similar to what visa and master cards operates. You have the verify by visa and master cards what we have as well is going to be verified by GHIPSS. Therefore the international standard will be followed to ensure that the cards are secured and protected with strong firewalls.”
Meanwhile the process requires that all card holders who want to participate be verified by GHIPSS by being pre-registered.
They will also have to go through an authentication process before they will be allowed to use the platform consequently.
The gh-link e-Commerce Internet payment gateway would be launched on Wednesday 19th August, 2015 which means airlines, restaurants, hotels and other shops can offer their services and products and receive payments online.