BOG Orders All Banks To Connect to E-ZWICH
BOG Orders All Banks To Connect to E-ZWICH Website
The Bank of Ghana, regulator of the banking industry has notified all Universal, Commercial, Rural, and Savings banks, as well as loans institutions among others to link all ATMs and transaction devices with the Universal Electronic Payment System to harmonise banking operation and ensure compatibility with the biometric smartcard by March 31st 2008. This is in line with plans aimed to introduce the national common payments platform, called E-ZWICH on 1st April 2008. Under the system, all financial institutions will deploy E-ZWICH Compatible Point of Sale devices at all their branches. They will also be compelled to issue E-ZWICH biometric smartcards to their customers. However, banks without switches or ATMs and POS devices will be expected to integrate their payment terminals directly into the national switch. According to the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Mahamudu Bawumia, banks with existing switches would be made to upgrade them to ensure compatibility in the operations of the national switch. He said Banks that have just deployed ATMs and POS devices have also been instructed to modify or replace them to meet the E-ZWICH biometric Smartcard Standard. The electronic system is being implemented by BoG with the cooperation of the Ghana Association of Bankers to allow Auto Teller Machines Interoperability across all banks through the national Switch. It is also being developed to address inefficiencies in the electronic payment systems developed by banks. Dr Bawumia said people outside the system have found it difficult to open bank accounts because of the onerous processes that the banking system operates. He said The Bank of Ghana is pursuing the task, as a way of taking a second look at the "know your customer principle". That will ensure that the system is tailored to suit the prevailing environment, while at the same time, making sure that it is consistent with the anti-money laundering procedures.