Ecobank Ghana Limited, the local subsidiary of the pan-African Ecobank has chalked another first, by being the first bank in Ghana to offer a credit card. The card is not only denominated in cedis, but is also acceptable at any VISA ATM or Point-of -Sale, in Ghana and around the globe.
The new credit card offering allows Ecobank customers and non-customers alike, to make purchases online/offline now and then pay later within their credit line. This credit limit according to Ecobank, is determined by the verifiable monthly income of the credit card holder. The service at this time is targeted at entrepreneurs and salary-earners.
Another interesting feature is that, purchases made using the card are interest-free, for 45 days. Thus if a credit card holder pays back for the purchases made within 45 days, there would be no additional interest on the money. This however does not apply to ATM withdrawals which are charged from the day of withdrawal.
At the end of each month, card holders can pay-off all the credit, or at least 25% of it, by paying cash or cheque at any Ecobank branch in Ghana.
It is time for Paypal to re-consider including Ghana in the countries it covers.
Another interesting development I am predicting is that, other banks will soon follow suit with similar products. It won’t be long before innovative banks like UBA, GTB, SG-SSB would follow suit, while the “old” banks like Barclays, Standard Chartered might take longer.
Hitherto, what were being offered by some banks in Ghana were Visa Electron Debit cards. These could be used at ATMs and POS in Ghana, and activated for use abroad but could not be used for payment on the Internet. Banks currently offering Visa Electron include: Standard Chartered, SG-SSB, Ecobank, Barclays, Cal Bank, Stanbic and GTB Ghana.
Out of the about 300 ATMs in Ghana, 200 are VISA certified, and major shops accept VISA cards, as well as other international brands of credit/debit cards.