Ghana Launches First of its Kind Gh Dual Card to Deepen Financial Inclusion and Encourage Transparency

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Ghana has launched what it calls the world’s first dual purpose EMV and financial inclusion payment card in Accra. This new card is issued by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS).

The new card is known as the Gh Dual card and it functions as e-zwich or gh-link or as both depending on the platform and the user. In simple terms, having an e-zwitch card means that you do not have to go to a specific bank to carry out your transactions.

With a large number of banks and branches using e-zwitch, the card holder enjoys the convenience of nationwide access and greater control over his or her transactions. The smart card comes with great security, interoperability and transaction features that make banking a better experience.

A gh-link card is an ATM card issued by a traditional bank in Ghana but bearing the gh-link logo. One of the advantages of having a gh-link card is that the charge for transactions is cheaper than when transactions are done with an international card. Gh-link is the interbank switching and processing system that interconnects financial institutions and third party systems of payment service providers. Gh-link is owned by GhIPSS.

The Gh Dual card that is being released is also one of the ways the Ghanaian government wants to fight ghost workers on its payroll and encourage accountability and transparency in the public sector.

The biometric features of the card makes it ideal for public sector payment as it is able to eliminate ghost workers. So, to eliminate the phenomenon of ghost workers once and for all, we are going to require that all government workers will also be paid through the filter of e-zwich or Gh Dual Card.

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
Vice President, Republic of Ghana

Reactions from Ghanaians show that some people are less than pleased with this development. But the Gh Dual card has its supporters.

It is operated on the gh-link™ which is a product of GhIPSS hence the near seamless onboarding. E-zwitch is also a product of GhIPSS although it has functioned as an entity separate from gh-link cards before the launch of the dual cards.

This dual card is part of the payment system architecture that we are putting in place. What we are launching today, which is the dual e-zwich card and gh-link card, is a world first; its not happened anywhere in the world. It is the first time that any country in the world is issuing this combined EMV card and a financial inclusion card. It is remarkable, and will further promote financial inclusion in Ghana.

Vice President, Bawumia

While it may take a little getting used to, the model for this card is something we might benefit from in Nigeria. As the official number of ghost workers in Nigeria is estimated to be about 60,000.

That said, the aim of the Gh Dual card is to deepen financial inclusion. It will allow users move funds seamlessly across the various payment platforms: mobile wallets, e-zwich wallets and bank accounts.

The Gh Dual card will also ensure that the increasing number of underserved and financially excluded Ghanaians will finally have access to basic banking services.


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