01/01/22

Seamless Payment Systems in Ghana

 

In 2022, ECOM launched a digital seamless payment system that improved financial inclusion for cocoa farmers and local value chain actors in rural communities that had limited or no network connection. ECOM’s seamless payment system worked by deploying a Near Field Communication (NFC) card-based digital payment system that could enable digital financial transactions between cocoa farmers and rural agents, including local merchants and cash-in cash-out (CICO) agents. 

 

 

The aim of the digital solution was to encourage cocoa farmers to use the platform to save and better manage their payments, whilst overcoming the constraints that restrict the ability of rural farmers to access digital financial solutions (such as mobile money), network connectivity in rural areas, lack of mobile ownership, and mobile and financial literacy. 

 

The seamless payment system was launched following an investigation by the local team into the constraints of cashless payments within cocoa societies, particularly around access to digital transactions in areas of low to no connectivity (47% of the rural population remained offline as of the start of 2022) and low to no mobile ownership (over 30% of women in rural Ghana do not own a mobile phone). As a result of the seamless payment system, at least 30% of farmers used the platform to save, rather than immediately withdrawing their cash, and over 10% used the platform to make digital payments to rural merchants. 

 

For the seamless payment system, ECOM pre-financed cocoa payments of GHS 755,985 to Purchasing Clerks (PCs) as e-vouchers. ECOM was able to digitally track the e-payments directly to the farmer through the use of the seamless payment system. Farmers were then able to withdraw their money or transact with local agents digitally by using the seamless application. 

 

 

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