Ghana Card: It appears we are living in a banana republic – Sam George

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Ningo Prampram Lawmaker, Samuel Nartey George has criticized the directive of the Government and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) that beginning July 1, only the Ghana Card will be used as identification document for all financial transactions.

In the view of Sam George, the Ghana Card cannot be the only identity card for financial transactions. Rather, he said, it can be used among other cards.

Speaking on the New Day show with Johnnie Hughes on TV3 Tuesday June 21, he said “We are living in a country that appears to be a banana republic, anybody wakes up and throws out directive. When you were taking your money to the bank to deposit, did they ask for a Ghana Card? Has your bank not done a Know Your Customer (KYC) process, where they have asked you to use your national ID, Ghanaian passport or voters ID.”

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) issued a directive that starting July 1, the GhanaCard shall be the only identification card to undertake transactions at all BoG licensed and regulated financial institutions.

The BoG institutions that will not accept customers who fail to update the records include Banks; Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions; Non-Deposit-Taking Financial Institutions; Payment Service Providers and Dedicated Electronic Money Issuers; Forex Bureaus and Credit Reference Bureaus.

“In furtherance of its objective of ensuring the safety of the financial system, Bank of Ghana pursuant to Regulation 7 of the National Identity Register, 2012 (L.I.2111), hereby directs that with effect from 1st July, 2022, the Ghana Card shall be the only identification card that will be used to undertake transactions at all Bank of Ghana licensed and regulated financial institutions including: i. Banks; ii. Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions; iii. Non-Deposit-Taking Financial Institutions; iv. Payment Service Providers and Dedicated Electronic Money Issuers; v. Forex Bureaus and Credit Reference Bureaus.

“In line with this Notice, Section 30 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044) and Regulation 12 of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, 2011 (L.I. 1987), all financial institutions shall take steps to update customer records with the Ghana Card.

“Customers of Bank of Ghana regulated financial institutions are therefore advised to update their records with their respective financial institutions with the Ghana Card in line with this Notice.

Some analysts welcomed the move by the BoG.

For instance, a Global Investment Analyst, Mr Patrick Abankwa Baah, said that the level of confidence banks had in their customers would increase following the directive.

He told Miriam Osei Agyeman on the Business Brief on TV3 Wednesday January 19 that with this new directive, banks are now assured that customers will not flee with their loans without being traced because they can be easily tracked with the use of the Ghana Card which contains security features and details of the holder.

He said “We accept the voter card, we accept the NHIS , we accept the Ghana Card and we even accept the drivers license but it is time that we consolidate all of these cards into one, which will be accepted by all.

“For me, this call has two effects; it has the positive and negative effects. The July deadline is, for me, good but if the NIA does not take time to register the people that are still in the system then it is going to be a bit of challenge with the financial inclusion exercise on the part of the Bank of Ghana.

“So, we have to ensure that as many Ghanaians as possible in the age bracket gets access to the card so that they can hold their bank accounts where ever they are.

“The positive side of this is that it will give banks the leverage to be able to to have confidence in their customers because the Ghana Card is is now linked to all other cards including your SSNIT and driving license so when Banks are giving out loans they have confidence that customers will not be able to run away with their money.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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