The number of persons using the biometric smart card e-zwich witnessed a significant growth over the past one year, according to data released by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlements System covering operations from 2016 to 2017.
Break down of numbers
The number of e-zwich cardholders as of December 2017, were 2,364,456. This is an increase of 25.90% over the 1,878,044 cardholders in 2016
Total volume of e-zwich transactions increased by 55.95%; from 5,365,085 in 2016 to 8,367,017 in 2017. Similarly, total value of transactions in 2017 grew by 45.22% to GH¢3,4Billion.
The e-zwich International Remittance Platform allows e-zwich cardholders in Ghana to receive money directly unto their e-zwich cards or bank accounts from abroad.
In 2017 international remittances received via e-zwich recorded significant growth of 311.44% in volume and 397.61% in value compared to 2016. The total amount on cards (Float) was GH¢74.43 million in December 2017 showing an increase of 38.94% over same period 2016.
The volume of PDS payments (Payment Distribution System) in 2017 was 2.9 million representing an increase of 37% over the same period in 2016. Value of PDS payments in the same period was GH¢940.95 million also representing an increase of 39% over the same period in 2016.
A total number of thirty-nine (39) organizations which consist of twenty-five (25) private organizations and fourteen (14) government institutions use the PDS to disburse loans, salaries, wages and pensions to beneficiaries.
This method of payment is convenience, fast and reduces the risk of fraud and loss of monies associated with withdrawal of huge sums of money for distribution to the employees or beneficiaries.
The increasing trend in e-zwich transactions since 2015 could be attributed to government’s use of the system to pay caterers of national school feeding programme, beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Nurses and Teacher Trainees allowances, Students Loans Trust Fund and personnel of the National Service Scheme as means of ensuring efficiency in payments and eliminate waste in its expenditure.