Ghana to improve financial service delivery to rural areas

By Lawrence Quartey

Posted on June 14, 2011 15:56

Government of Ghana has secured a €7.5 million funding to support its on-going interbank payment and settlement system to ensure quality delivery of financial services, especially to the unbanked and under-banked population.

The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS) Limited is a subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana set up to operate a national switch with the smartcard payment system and the provision of smartcard services.

Much of the activities surrounding funds transfer in Ghana take place among the participating banks and GHIPSS, which acts as the clearing house.

The country’s Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, who made the announcement in Accra, on Tuesday, said the funds would allow GHIPSS to implement a countrywide biometric system as well as undertake a rural banking project that uses the National Switch and Smart card payment system, branded as e-zwich.

“This technology will permit offline transaction and fingerprint recognition making it highly suitable for rural areas and for the uneducated people in our country,” he said.

GHIPSS also has the mandate to operate the Ghana Automated Clearing House (GACH), an electronic funds transfer system which was also launched on Tuesday.

With this system, an account holder can instruct a bank to make regular or recurring payments to a client or a firm on his or her behalf at determined dates.

According to Duffuor, the automation would not only increase the payment alternatives in the economy but also provide greater choice for consumers and bank customers as well as enhance the speed and efficiency of the transfer and collection of funds among banks.

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