The National Service Scheme (NSS) has continued to benefit from the savings made with the use of e-zwich to pay allowances of personnel.
The Acting Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat, Mustapha Ussif, who disclosed this in an interview, said the e-zwich system had helped clean up the payroll and ensured that the allowances are paid to the intended persons.
The Scheme opted for the use of the biometric electronic payment system in 2015 and made a savings of about GH¢170 million due to the detection and removal of ghost names and duplications from the payroll.
Two years on, allowances paid to the National Service personnel continues to come from the savings made with some GH¢60 million still available.
Mr. Ussif resolved to ensure that the Secretariat operated effectively and efficiently. He said the management team were determined to ensure the smooth operation of the scheme and that only the right people get paid the allowances.
He commended the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) for the initiative and suggested if they could device a system that will enable funds that are not accessed on the cards to be recalled automatically.
The success chalked with the payment of National Service allowance with e-zwich encouraged government to extend the payment system to other institutions such as the Youth Employment Agency and lately the trainee teachers and nurses allowances, leading to a significant increase in the number of e-zwich card users to about 2.3 million
The Deputy Executive Director of NSS, Gifty Oware-Aboagye, on her part explained that the use of the e-zwich has also prevented people from reapplying to the Scheme with different identities as was the case previously. She said the bio-data of such people gave them up and they were immediately taken off.
The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, commended the management of the NSS for the effective manner they have allowed the payment system to work.
He said GhIPSS would continue to work with the Secretariat to explore other means to ensure that they always derive the maximum benefit of the e-zwich payment system.
He suggested that part of the savings government makes through the use of e-zwich could be used to support the purchase of additional hybrid Point of Sales devices so that e-zwich cardholders such as the National Service men and women can have more outlets to use their cards.
Mr. Hesse also encouraged private organisations to also use e-zwich for the payment of various emoluments because it is safe, quick and helps clean up payrolls.