The number of e-zwich card holders of 2,364,456 in December 2017 showed an increase of 25.90percent over 2016 position of 1,878,044 and total volume of e-zwich transactions increased by 55.95percent; from 5,365,085 in 2016 to 8,367,017in 2017.
According to the bank, the increasing trend in e-zwich transactions could be attributed to Government’s use of the system to pay caterers of national school feeding programme, beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Nurses and Teacher Trainees allowances, Students Loans Trust Fund and personnel of the National Service Scheme as a means of ensuring efficiency in payments and eliminating waste in public expenditure.
The bank noted that the volumes and values of e-zwich cash withdrawals exceeded other e-zwich products or services such as purchases, cash deposits and money transfers. “This trend suggests that cardholders prefer withdrawing cash from ATMs and POS terminals to pay for goods and services instead of using the system to transfer monetary value to merchants and beneficiaries to discharge financial obligations. The cardholders’ preference for cash could be attributed to inadequate merchant e-zwich points of sale devices and lack of awareness of other e-zwich payment options,” the report stressed.
E-zwich is an interoperable biometric smart card payment system which offers a suite of electronic payments and banking services accessible from a Point of Sales (POS)
These services include payments at merchants’ point of sale purchases, withdrawal of cash, deposit onto the card and transfer of funds. The e-zwich system continues to facilitate payments to cocoa farmers, nurses and teachers and national service e- Personnel’s salaries.
By Adu Koranteng