Bank of Ghana introduces domestic cards dubbed ‘gh-link cards’ for customers of universal banks, here's what it will be used for

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has launched a local payment card “gh-link EMV prepaid and debit card” as part of government plans to promote a cash lite economy.

Bank of Ghana introduces domestic cards dubbed ‘gh-link cards’ for customers of universal banks, here's what it will be used for

The central bank through its Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) in collaboration with eTranzact made the move.

The gh-Link prepaid and debit cards have multichannel capabilities, enabling cardholders to use a payment channel that is most convenient and best fit on meeting their need for the payment of a good, service, funds transfer or accessing cash.

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison in a speech read for him at the ceremony to launch it, called for the Fintechs to take advantage of the Payment and Services Act to develop payments systems and products to drive financial inclusion.

The Act provides an enabling regulatory environment for the Fintechs to participate in the payment ecosystem.

He added that “the current proportionate regulatory regime ensures that Fintech is not subjected to regulatory requirements in excess of the risks inherent in their activities and also avoids the imposition of undue compliance burden”.

Dr Addison said “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,” he said.

Background

The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) stated earlier this year noted that it will issue some ‘gh-link’ cards to customers of universal banks in the country.

This, GhIPSS said, will be issued before the end of this year.

The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse who made the revelation noted that the issuance will, however, not prevent customers from getting an international card.

The gh-link is the generic name for domestic cards in Ghana issued by the various banks, and Ghana allows the use of both domestic and international bank cards.

The need for banks to issue all their local account holders with gh-link cards follows a global trend towards domestic scheme cards.

Nigeria, India, Brazil and Malaysia are notable examples of countries where domestic schemes cards are making super inroads with obvious benefits to their economies.

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