A team from the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) and some banks are visiting parts of the capital city to promote the use of ATM cards as a form of payment.
The programme is part of a broader educational campaign to encourage the public to shop on the hybrid POSes using their ATM cards instead of over relying on cash.
GhIPSS together with banks have deployed close to half a million gh-link hybrid POSes in major shopping centres in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Sunyani, Koforidua and other major towns. The POSes are located in shopping centres, restaurants, beauty parlours, hotels and pharmacies, among others.
They accept local ATM cards as well as e-zwich cards and the campaign is part of the initiative to migrate Ghana into a cash-lite economy and save the country billions of cedis lost to over reliance on cash for transactions.
Speaking in an interview with Times Business in Accra, a Business Development Executive at GhIPSS, Gertrude Ati, said the educational campaign which involved interacting with the public, distribution of information materials and the issuance of ATM cards to those who do not have one, has so far been effective.
She explained that the word of mouth had proven to be one of the useful ways of promoting products, adding that the one-on-one interaction enables a two-way conversation and also allows the public to ask as many question as possible.
The team of GhIPSS and bank officials are on this campaign for a period of two weeks.
They have so far visited the Osu Oxford Street, Cantonment, East Legon, and the Atta Mills High Street. The team also pitched camp at some key shopping centres including the new Junction Mall at Nungua and the West Hill Mall at Weija, among others.
Each day’s campaign ends at a bank branch where people who do not have bank accounts or local ATM cards are assisted to acquire one.
Ms. Ati explained that apart from educating the public to use their cards to shop, they were also encouraging them to have a local ATM card because of the edge it had over its international counterparts in internal transactions.
She explained that due to the gh-link interbank ATM, holders of local ATM cards have access to more ATM outlets than any other type of card.
Ms. Ati indicated that while holders of local ATM cards can use their cards on any ATM outlets in the country, the same cannot be said of internationally branded cards.
Additionally, the charge in using local ATM cards to withdraw money or make payment is far lower, she stressed.
Ms. Ati conceded that it would take much effort to get people to embrace the use of cards for payment but said the banks and GhIPSS were up to the task.
She added that other programmes were being rolled out to complement the street and shopping centre campaigns and was upbeat that a lot was going to change in the short to medium terms.
By David Adadevoh