Mastercard and Zenith Bank have extended their partnership in West Africa to now include Ghana. The agreement is aimed at providing a suite of digital payment solutions that include prepaid,debit and credit cards which will be made available from December 14, 2016.
The introduction of the suite of solutions will ensure all citizens have access to safer ways to pay for goods and services as the payment cards are EMV Chip and PIN enabled. This is in line with Ghana’s Vision 2020 goals, which sets out plans to accelerate the migration to a more global standard.
“With the rapid progression of the electronic payments industry, our customers are increasingly seeking faster, more secure and smarter ways to pay. To cater to their evolving needs, we have launched this range of internationally-accepted payment cards, making it easier for them to safely access their funds both here in Ghana and abroad,” says Mr. Henry Oroh, MD/CEO of Zenith Bank Ghana.
Millions of Cedis are lost in bank fraud annually and while the losses are not always attributed to card fraud, the increase in card usage especially among the middle class has necessitated the formulation of tougher measures to fight fraud, making the case for the adoption of secure Chip and PIN cards.
“EMV technology protects in-store payments from card fraud. A small chip built into the payment card generates a one-time PIN for every transaction, making it virtually impossible to create counterfeit cards,” said Omokehinde Adebanjo, Area Business Head West Africa, Mastercard. “As this shift gains momentum around the world, a global chip infrastructure is taking shape to counter the threat of fraudulent transactions. We look forward to working with Zenith Bank in Ghana to bring safer payment technologies to the market.”
EMV-enabled cards feature an embedded microchip to encrypt information, making it more difficult for unauthorized users to copy or access data on the card. Additionally, the Mastercard prepaid, debit and credit cards will be accepted at millions of acceptance locations and ATM machines in over 210 countries.
Adebanjo pointed out that although the suite of solutions will play a role in including the previously unbanked and underserved in the formal financial sector given that only 35% of the country’s citizens have an account at a financial institution. She says that there is a deeper focus on continuing to strengthen the local economy and thus providing accessible, safe and secure payment solutions to all citizens.