… GhIPPS CEO hails landmark decision

Archie-HesseMr. Archie-Hesse, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), has hailed the agreement between the National Service Scheme (NSS) and GhIPSS.

He said the agreement reached between the two institutions would go a long way in bringing sanity to the payment of national service personnel.

He said the e-zwich payment system for national service personnel would eradicate incidence of payroll fraud.

Mr. Hesse said the use of the e-zwich would remove the duplication of names on the payroll and all payments would be done centrally.

The new payment mode has become necessary following alleged fraud at the National Service Secretariat.

This comes after it emerged that the scheme’s Director, Alhaji Imoro Alhassan, who is being trial in court allegedly attempted to offer GH¢200,000 bribe to security officials investigating widespread corruption in the national service scheme.

Alhaji Alhassan reportedly paid GH¢100,000 in his attempt to silence investigators of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to conceal a GH¢7.9 million financial fraud at the scheme.

The investigations became necessary following reports that a total of GH¢7.9 million was paid to 22,612 non-existent national service persons in more than 100 districts in July 2014.

With the payment of allowances on the e-zwich card, it would make it impossible for officials to pay monies to a different account and access it later.

This is because with the e- zwich biometric card all fingers of a cardholder are scanned during enrolment and the templates stored on the client-card.

When performing any transaction, the e-zwich device whether on automated teller machines (ATM) or a point of sale terminal, will demand the verification of the cardholder by comparing the fingerprint presented on the device scanner to any of those stored on the card.

“The situation where funds were transferred to all 230 districts for payment would not happen again as all payments would be made centrally,” he said.

He said point of sale devices would be located in all the 230 districts to enable the service persons to load the money on the cards at no cost.

Mr. Hesse said the use of the e-zwich was convenient not only at the channel level but also at the branch since funds could be withdrawn at any bank.

Currently, about one million Ghanaians are subscribed to the e-zwich out of which 350,000 actively use the service

The GhIPSS CEO said government would make significant savings on payroll-associated waste and fraud if e-zwich is used to pay salaries.

“Its biometric nature and the fact that it provides an electronic audit trail for every transaction make it a great tool to fight the canker of ghost-names,” he stressed.

By David Adadevoh

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