Business News of Saturday, 14 May 2016
Officials of the electronic payment platform, E-Zwich, have rubbished claims that public sector workers who will be paid by government through their platform will pay double charges.
The government in a bid to rid the system of payroll fraud introduced the plan, consequent to which a directive was issued to all public servants to obtain e-zwich cards by May 31 or risk having their salaries suspended.
The new system is expected to keep 10 per cent of the employee’s salary on the e-zwich platform, with 90 per cent going into the workers account.
This, the 12 labour unions and the public sector workers have kicked against the new system citing various reasons, including claims that workers will pay double charges should they get their salaries through the e-zwich platform.
But managers of the platform have denied the allegations. Chief Executive, Archie Hesse, of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems [GhiPss] told TV the process would attract between 0.50 pesewas and GHC1 depending on the bank.
“It’s not true that you’ll receive double charges from your bank, and then E-zwich will charge you. That’s not the case…the reason why we charge the 50 pesewas is because we don’t know where you’re likely to load your funds,” he said.
He explained that the service charge is for the banks because it is their infrastructure that a customer uses, noting, “If you go to another bank and they are not your customer and you’re using their infrastructure, you have to pay something towards it other than that they will all stop using it”.
Touching on the issue of nonavailability of the e-zwich machines in some banks and concerns of network challenges raised by the unions, Mr Hesse they have a mandate to ensure the machines are used in most banks across the country.
“Since we don’t have the Point of Sale Devices at all places where you and I are likely to shop at, then there is a need for us to make provisions and it’s in that regard that we have a selected number of banks converting the ATMs” he said.
He however said converting the ATMs of the various bank would defeat the one of the purpose of e-zwich system – ensuring a cashless society.
“If we convert all the banks’ ATMs, then it means that all we’re doing is we being paid electronically and then we all go to the ATM, collect cash and go and shop via cash. It will defeat the second purpose,” he said.
Mr Hesse also refuted claims that the government is supporting a private company to introduce the e-zwich, noting that the Bank of Ghana wholly owns the platform.
“Our mandate is to come out with financial infrastructure that would encourage banking and also foster transactions in the electronic medium. We are not here to make profit,” he added.