To eliminate the phenomenon of ‘ghost’ workers once and for all from government payroll, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has asked that all government workers be paid through the filter of the e-zwich card.
To that end, he said, all public sector workers who drew their salaries from the Consolidated Fund must be issued with e-zwich cards if they did not have them.
Dr Bawumia, who was speaking at the launch of a new payment card in Accra on Wednesday, said the biometric features of the e-zwich made it ideal for public sector payments, as it was able to eliminate ghost workers.
Explaining further, he said, the salaries would be paid into every worker’s bank account, but would be filtered through the e-zwich system to make sure that the whole public sector payroll was devoid of ghost workers.
“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 the e-zwich card.
“This means that all public sector workers who do not have the e-zwich cards will be issued with these e-zwich cards and, even though the money is not going to be paid to the e-zwich card, the money will be paid into every worker’s bank account but the filter will be e-zwich and that will make sure that for the whole public sector payroll, we can say that there will be no ‘ghost’ workers,” Dr Bawumia stated.
The GH Dual Card
Known as the GH Dual Card, the newly introduced payment card, which is the initiative of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPPS) and the Bank of Ghana (BoG), is a dual purpose card that has both the e-zwich and the gh-link applications.
It can, therefore, be used either as e-zwich, gh-link or both as desired.
Depending on a request by a customer, an issuing bank of the new card can activate any of the functions which would serve a customer’s purpose.
The card has, therefore, been designed to give holders access to both funds on their e-zwich cards as well as their bank accounts at the same time.
Dr Bawumia, therefore, gave an assurance that the government would use technology and digitisation to solve the problem of ghost workers so that all workers would get their pay but through the filter of the e-zwich.
“In the payment system space, it is clear that Ghana is now the undisputed leader in Africa. We are also the first country to have interoperability in mobile money and bank accounts which have also been extended to e-zwich account and this is triple interoperability,” he pointed out.
Dr Bawumia said the convergence towards electronic-based services in the past two years was a deliberate policy by the government to use technology to drive efficiency as it grew the economy and moved the country beyond aid.
He, therefore, commended GhIPSS and its partners, such as the telecommunication companies and the bank, for their hard work.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison, said he was happy about the effectiveness of the biometric technology which, according to him, was a very reliable tool to fight payroll issues.
He also stressed the commitment of the BoG towards the development of electronic payment and said the BoG had facilitated the passage of the Payment Systems and Services Act which would lead to exciting times in the sector.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GhIPPS, Mr Archie Hesse, for his part, said the introduction of the GH Dual Card was in furtherance of creating convenience that would motivate customers of financial institutions to prefer cards to cash.
He, therefore, called on banks to issue their customers with both e-zwich and gh-link cards based on the customers’ preference in line with the requirements of the central bank.
Mr Hesse said the features and functionalities of the two cards had been combined to give financial institutions options.