General Issues · Ghana · Technology

Is Ezwich stealing from the Cashless Society? Greed vs Pain

The ezwich system which is supposed to make life easier for us is causing more pain by ‘draining’ our accounts more than necessary. Ezwich is the brand name for the National Switch and Smart-card payment system and this system offers Deposit taking financial institutions (universal banks, rural banks and Saving & Loans) a platform that enables them to interoperate, obviously at the expense of the customers or users of the ezwich. The National Service Personnel are perfect examples of such users or victims.
This card is supposed to secure our monies against robbers and bring some level of convenience to the users but is rather robbing users gradually.
In a personal experience, I paid exorbitantly on the transactions I made in a single day. Let me walk you through my experience.
On Monday 4th June, 2012, I made an ‘Offline Balance Enquiry’ at the ATM (Merchant REF. NO. 5496) and was charged 0.10p, obviously a very small amount. I went further to withdraw GHS 20.00 and was charged a fee of0.20p. (Accumulated Fee: 0.30p) That is cool too.
After those transactions, I made an ‘Online Auto Load’ (this involves loading salaries or allowances or monies paid in to the account on to the card) and I was charged 0.50p. That makes an accumulated fee of 0.80p so far. The machine indicated on the slip, ‘’Transaction Successful, We Serve You Better’’. Hmm, let’s go on.  I then decided to send money to my little brother and this was an ‘Online Card2Card’ transaction. This was where the magic started. I was charged GHS 1.00 which was indicated as FEE (S) = 0.50p and FEE (R) = 0.50p(Accumulated Fee so far = GHS 1.80). Only God knows what those represent. I assume they represent, ‘Fee for Sending’ and ‘Fee for Receiving’. I know my brother would pay a fee to withdraw this money from his card.  Absurdly, the machine indicated again, ‘’Transaction Successful, We Serve You Better’’. No problem, let’s go on.
Since I have more cash on my card from the ‘Online Auto Load’ transaction I made earlier, I decided to withdraw an extra GHS 230.00.


You can’t believe this, I was chargedGHS 1.15 for that ‘Offline Cash Withdrawal.’ This withdrawal was my 18th transaction since I reluctantly joined the ezwich system, so you can imagine how much I have paid as transaction cost. The fee charged on the cash withdrawal makes the total fee charged for the day, GHS 2.95.
When 10,000 people do this transaction…….READ MORE

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