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Reflex Eco Group – Ghana news

by Samuel Boadi (Local journalist)

Financial Institutions, their agents and merchants could access part of a €700 million facility provided by KFW, a German agency to roll out branchless banking infrastructure in Ghana from August 1, this year.

The credit facility will be available for the deployment of e-zwich hybrid Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), hybrid point of sales (PoS) devices, merchant e-zwich cards, as well as agent e-zwich cards and related logistics.

The facility is expected to enable financial institutions undertake branchless banking by deploying ATMs and POS which can accept both e-zwich cards and normal ATM cards, particularly to service rural areas.

Head of Business Development at GhIPSS, Mary Dei-Sarpong, who disclosed this to journalists in Accra, said the facility from KFW is a four-year concessionary loan with a year grace period.

She explained that the loan could be accessed by banks, savings and loans companies as well as rural and community banks, adding that merchants and agents could also access the loan.

Application forms will be available at GhIPSS and on its website.

She stated that while the banks can access the loans directly, the savings and loans companies, as well as merchants and agents could access the loan through their sponsoring banks.

Mrs. Dei-Sarpong also mentioned that rural and community banks could apply for the loan through the ARB Apex Bank.

She noted that the facility was a revolving fund spanning a period of 10 years which means that the financial institutions as well as agents and merchants could access their facility for a long time to come.

The German Government, through KFW, granted the Government of Ghana the facility over two years ago to support branchless banking in Ghana and to make banking available to rural communities.

With this facility, Mrs. Dei-Sarpong expects that banks would set up agencies all over the country.

Also merchants could acquire POS devices and offer basic banking services such as cash back, and other services.

She indicated that the hybrid PoS devices have bigger memories which will allow merchants and agents to use them for other third party activities.

Officials of GhIPSS and the Consultant working on the KFW facility are currently visiting the banks to walk them through the process of accessing the loan.

Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, said branchless banking is an effective way of taking banking to the doorsteps of customers.

He advised various institutions to go for the concessionary loans in order to rollout ATMs and PoS to enable members of the public gain access to banking.

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