Deepening financial inclusion: Gh-Link EMV Card, Debit card launched

The local payment cards, gh-Link EMV prepaid and debit cards have been launched in Accra with a call on Fintechs to take advantage of the Payment and Services Act to develop payments systems and products to drive financial inclusion in the country.

The card, which allows the holders to use a payment channel that is most convenient to them  and best fit their need for payments, transfer for receiving cash was developed by eTranzact and Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS), as part of efforts by the government to promote a cashlite society.

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison, who made the call in a speech read on his behalf by the Head of Payment Systems Department, Dr Settor Kwabla  Amediku, said the Payment and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987) had provided an enabling  regulatory environment for Fintechs to participate in the payment ecosystem.

“The current proportionate regulatory regime ensures that Fintechs are not subjected to regulatory requirements in excess of the risks inherent in their activities and also avoids imposition of undue compliance burden,” he said.

Dr Addison said the BoG recognised the importance of a well-developed payment system to Ghana’s economic development, hence the implementation of various policies and initiatives to modernise and improve the payment ecosystem.

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

“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 Governor said.

The Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse said banks in the country have up to December 31, 2019 to issue the gh-Link EMV prepaid and debit card to their account holders.

He said his outfit decided to come with the local prepared and debit card because the international cards being used in the country was not processed in the country and the cost was outside decided by the developers of the card.

Mr Archie said gh-Link EMV card could be used in all channels such as ATMs, POS, mobile phones and the internet, adding that the card was linked to the bank accounts of holders and their mobile wallets.

The local cards which have international features, he said, could be used for several electronic and digital transactions including paying for utility bills and transfer of money, and pledged that his outfit would continue to innovate and introduce new features on the card.

The Global Chief Executive of eTranzact, Valentine Obi in his remarks said he was excited about the partnership to develop the gh-Link EMV prepaid and debit card.

By Kingsley Asare

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