The challenges of implementing Electronic Payment Systems – The Case of Ghana’s E-zwich Payment System
ABSTRACT This study investigates the challenges of implementing and using electronic payments in Ghana. In addition, it also attempts to assess the degree of usage of card based payments systems i.e e-zwich, debit and credit cards. Several electronic payment systems have been introduced into the country in recent times with the most significant being e-zwich smart card payment system, a national domestic smart card payment system meant to reduce the large amount of cash held outside the banking system. Despite the progress made, it is estimated that only 20% of the population have bank accounts and 90% of the cash issued by the Bank of Ghana is still held by the non-bank public The study uses primary data collected through deep interviews with Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS), the company in charge of the e-zwich payment system in Ghana and senior officials of some of the major banks in Ghana. Questionnaires were also distributed to shops and individuals that use e-zwich and debit cards. The implementation of e-zwich although have challenges is a step in the right direction for national development. The study revealed also that e-zwich has the potential to reduce the unbanked in Ghana and is beginning to show some good signs in terms of some good initiatives by GHIPSS. However, more education of the public and the banks is needed to realise its full potential.
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