The desire of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to move the country’s economic payment system into a cashless one could hit a snag as consumers who use ATM cards to pay for goods through “Point of Sale” (POS) terminals lament over high charges.

The use of POS devices was introduced by the Central Bank among other reasons, to reduce the handling of cash transactions as a measure of controlling money supply.

Checks by Business Day revealed that the cost of using an ATM card at POS terminals ranges from 50 pesewas to Ghc5, with some banks offering it for free.

However, some custom­ers who use this method of payment have complained to Business Day that they have been charged transaction fees as high as Ghc9.10 for goods worth Ghc7.0 at some of the country’s ma­jor shopping malls.

A source at SG-Ghana told Business Day that, “Ideally, charges on POS must be free, particularly when it involves an ATM card and a device from the same bank”.

Authorities at the Accra Shopping Mall, for instance, have explained to Busi­ness Day that the high charges could be as a result of switching a particular bank’s ATM card with a different bank’s POS device. Madam Grace Ananga, a manager at Shoprite, Accra Mall, stated that several complaints have reached her outfit concerning the development.

Business Day has ob­served that the phenomenon has resulted in long queues at the mall’s ATM machines, defeating the Central Bank’s aim of limit­ing the circulation of cash for the payment of goods and services.

The Ghana InterbankPayment and Settlement Systems (GhlPSS), which manages the scheme has in recent times stated that it will intensify education on how to operate the stand­alone machine in order to prevent technical hiccups.

Head of Business Development at GhlPSS, Mary Dei Sarpong, has maintained that new features are being added to the de­vice to increase the reach of the service.

Speaking in an interview with Business Day, Head of Banking Supervision of the BoG, Mr. Franklyn Belnye advised victims of wrong deductions to make an official complaint to their respective banks.

He maintained that cost of transaction among banks is well documented by the BoG and published to protect the consumer.

It is, therefore, imperative for customers to con­tact their banks for an explanation concerning certain deductions which do not tally with the BoG directive, he stressed.

He continued that, the Central Bank as a regulator is firm on bank charges and the interbank settlement system. Mr. Belnye there­fore appealed to the general public to notify the BoG anytime wrong deductions are made on their accounts through a POS system.

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