Unity Link rolls out money transfer from UK via e-Zwich

Ghanaians in the UK can now send their remittances to families and friends in Ghana directly onto their e-Zwich cards. This follows an agreement between international money transfer company; Unity Link and the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System, GhIPSS. Mr Archie Hesse, General Manager for Projects and Business Development at GhIPSS, said the move was an expansion of the frontiers of the use of e-zwich cards as it provided a guarantee to both senders and holders of the card that the money would reach the intended target because of the unique biometric features on the card. Besides, it removes the uncertainty of relying on friends and relatives to send money back home. Like all other money transfer services, the Unity Link would take the money and deduct its commission before transfers onto the e-switch card of the beneficiary. Mr Hesse said the beneficiary could access the money at any bank or at shops with point of sales devices just moments after the transfer had been concluded. He said there were plans to extend the service to Germany and Holland, where Unity Link operates other subsidiaries. Mr Hesse said GhIPSS was in the process of establishing a national switch to interconnect all standalone payment systems, adding that with a national switch in place bank customers can use any ATM to effect transactions. He said there were also plans to make Point Of Sales (POS) more versatile in their use to enhance the ability to accept all cards and to also encourage payment via the internet. Mr Hesse said to ensure payment via the internet, the national switch would connect e-commerce operators to banks. He said the move was to provide Ghanaians choices and make payment very fast through innovative ways. He said to allow all banks ATMs to accept any payment card, including the e-zwich, all banks were expected to complete integration of their systems by June 30. “Once the integration process is done with the banks that will knock in the roll out of other products to ease payment” Mr Hesse said, adding that plans such as linking telecommunication companies to banks would be done. On POS, Mr Hesse said Germany had provided 80 million Euros to facilitate the merchant’s acquisition of the device as part of a capacity building programme for GhIPSS. Meanwhile, GHIPSS has been given an award by Carte-Afrique as the institution with the most-efficient payment and settlement system so far in West, North and Central Africa. Mr Fred France, Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS said the awards signified the vision of Bank of Ghana to establish a payment system for the country.