The use of e-zwich to pay some government employees has led to a 60 percent growth in use of this payment platform in the country, the latest Bank of Ghana report on Payment Systems Oversight has revealed.
The report notes that the volume of transactions on the payment platform recorded a 55.95 percent growth from GH? 5.4million in 2016 to GH?8.3million in 2017.
â€œThe increasing trend in e-zwich transactions can be attributed to governmentâ€™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 a means of ensuring efficiency in payments and eliminating waste in public expenditure,â€ the report states.
Another revelation in the report is that the volume and value of e-zwich cash withdrawals exceeded other e-zwich products or services such as purchases, cash deposits and money transfers.
The e-zwich services include payments at merchantsâ€™ point of sale (purchases), withdrawal of cash, deposit onto the card and transfer of funds.
However, according to the report, cardholders prefer withdrawing cash from ATMs and PoS terminals to pay for goods and services instead of using the system to transfer monetary value to merchants and beneficiaries to discharge financial obligations.
It further gave reason that the cardholdersâ€™ preference for cash could be attributed to inadequate merchant e-zwich point of sales devices and lack of awareness of other e-zwich payment options.
The report observed that the majority of people prefer mobile money transactions to all other payment platforms. In fact, the same report shows the mobile money platform has seen tremendous growth between 2016 and 2017.
The report shows that total volume of mobile money transactions moved from GH?550million in 2016 to GH?981.6million in 2017 â€“ representing a jump of 78.4 percent.
In terms of value, it increased by 98.51 percent from GHÂ¢78.51billion in 2016 to GHÂ¢155.9billion in 2017.
The value of retail payments, excluding cash, increased by 43.18 percent to GHÂ¢381.43billion in 2017 from GHÂ¢266.4 billion in 2016.
With almost 152,000 mobile money agents as at December 2017 â€“ which is a 41 percent increment from 2016, the value and volume of transactions on the mobile money platform continue to rise.
The report further shows that mobile money has overtaken cheques as the main non-cash retail payment instrument with 981.6 million transactions; followed by Debit Cards, 60.4 million; e-zwich, 8.4 million; cheques, 7.3 million; and Direct Credit Transfer, 6.1 million in 2017.