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GAB approves of GhiPSS and Visa partnership

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The Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) has welcomed the partnership between the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlements Systems (GhIPSS) and Visa to ensure that all Visa card transactions in Ghana are processed locally to save time and cut cost.

Speaking at the signing of the deal between GhIPSS and Visa recently, Chief Executive of GAB, John Awuah said “to the extent that this partnership enables banks to serve our customers seamlessly we are grateful.”

He also noted that banks are in the business of cutting the cost of doing business and since the partnership promises to help them make some savings, and pass some of it on to their customers, they find the GhIPSS-Visa partnership a very welcoming one.

The deal 

So the GhIPSS-Visa partnership deal will ensure that all Visa card transactions are processes here in Ghana by GhIPSS, instead of being relayed to entities abroad for processing before coming back to Ghana to terminate.

That process of the transaction being processed abroad meant that banks are having to pay the processing entities abroad in dollars, while the banks charge fees in cedis, and that is expensive for some banks.

Indeed, Techfocus24 gathered that for many banks in Ghana, electronic card transactions cost them a lot of money but they either offer the service for free to their customers or charge a minimal monthly fee.

Where banks try to make some money and cut their loses is when customers of other banks use the ATM (automatic teller machines) of particular banks, then those bank charge between GHS12 and GHS15 per transaction from those non-customers.

John Awuah noted that it really does not make sense for a cedi transaction at an ATM or POS to travel thousands of miles outside of Ghana for processing for it comes back to be truncated in Ghana, particularly when it even cost more.

“It is simpler to have GhIPSS just around the corner to process these transactions at a relatively cheaper cost, so that all stakeholders are happy,” he said.

He noted that getting to this partnership deal has not been an easy journey but finally banks and their customers can breathe some fresh air in the hope that soon the deliverables of the deal and its accompanying benefits will kick in.

John Awuah however expressed the hope that GhIPSS will play its role in the partnership in a manner that does not disrupt the provision of financial intermediation in the country.

“For that, I think GhIPSS has a lot on its plate. They have gone to take some meat and we want to see them chew it. But we the banks are here to support you in whatever way we can to make this a success,” he said.

Public Good

Meanwhile, GhIPSS CEO, Archie Hesse has assured the public that GhIPSS is here for public good, and once all the technical and commercial details of the deal are finalize, GhIPSS will ensure the cost of Visa Card transactions are reduced to enable more banks offer Visa Card services to their customers.

He is confident that such a move will also ensure financial inclusion as many Ghanaians even below the middle class will be able to afford Visa transactions and even shop online for less.

Archie Hesse even alluded to the possibility of linking Visa Card and GhIPSS ghlink card, which will then even deepen financial inclusion further.

On his part, the Vice President and Cluster Head of Visa West Africa, Andrew Uaboi also assured Ghanaians that in line with the vision of Bank of Ghana and GhIPSS, Visa will be committed to making a contribution to ensure that the cost of its services in Ghana is reduced for both banks and customers under the umbrella of this partnership.

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