The Central Bank of Ghana chose Famoco’s Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) devices to increase acceptance of domestic payment schemes and other value-added services

 

I like to say that I was impressed by the professionalism of the Famoco team. You could tell they have clearly an in-depth knowledge of the development of point of sale.” 

Archie Hesse, CEO of GhIPSS

 

 

An Institution with a mandate to digitize Ghana’s Payments Systems

The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS), is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana, established in May 2007. The role of GhIPSS is to implement and manage interoperable payment systems infrastructure for banks and non-bank financial institutions in Ghana. Currently, GhIPSS has implemented and manages the e-zwich system which is Ghana’s Biometric smart card banking & retail platform, the Cheque Codeline and clearing system, the Ghana Automated Clearinghouse solution for Direct Credit & Debit transfers,  the gh-link platform which is the country’s national switch and the GhIPSS Instant Pay platform for real-time interbank transactions.

In addition to the implementation and development of Ghana’s Payments Systems Infrastructure, GhIPSS supports the POS acquiring business of its partner institutions by providing them with point of sale devices that accept the e-zwich biometric card and gh-link EMV card.

The  e-zwich card was implemented in 2008 and it is an interoperable biometric smart card that connects all financial institutions in Ghana; allowing e-zwich cardholders to perform banking and retail transactions at the outlets of other e-zwich financial institutions using the e-zwich point of sale device or  e-zwich compliant ATMs. The Biometric Authentication functionality of the e-zwich card provides high security as fingerprint authentication is the only means of verification when transacting.

Gh-link EMV Card, on the other hand, is Ghana’s domestic card payment scheme launched by GhIPSS in 2012. The Card scheme rides on the gh-link platform; a system that interconnects the switches of all banks and financial institutions in Ghana and enables accredited financial institutions to issue EMV white label cards that are accepted nationwide across ATM and POS networks.

Together, these card services have facilitated Ghana’s financial inclusion drive, encouraged cashless transactions at merchant locations, provided merchants with efficient and safe modes of collecting payments among others. 

 

 

The need for a modernized Point of Sale device

The changing market trends in the development of point of sale devices with Android technology leading the change, meant GhIPSS had to replace its existing point of sale devices to conform with the global trends and the local market need for an all purposive POS device; one that accepted both the gh-link EMV and e-zwich cards, International cards, was based on the Android technology and allowed acquirers to port other payment applications onto the device.

GhIPSS in essence was looking for a technology partner to develop a Unified Android Point of Sale Device that was going to replace GhIPSS’ existing devices which were not android based and restrictive in its offerings.

 

A modern mobile point-of-sale device accepting several types of cards

GhIPPS chose Famoco devices for their banking solution

This challenge was answered by Famoco with their hardware and software expertise. The first step for Famoco was to design and develop an entire application based on Android, for the gh-link™ and the e-zwich system, with their partner Paycode, that developed the e-zwich application. 

For the hardware part, GhIPSS had chosen the Famoco POS, the FP202. It is an Android-based biometric device dedicated to identification, payments, and professional services. It integrates a high-performance Idemia biometric optical sensor for the precise capture of fingerprints. It has been designed to cover registration and authentication applications for SIM card enrollment, access control, financial inclusion, loyalty program, voter authentication, and attendance tracking. The FP202 integrates a card reader that can read many types of cards such as ID, payment, health, and other cards.

The FP202 is, thanks to its form factor including a contact card reader, Idemia’s CBM fingerprint reader, and its flexible and secure operating system, the perfect solution for GhIPSS. 

The Famoco POS has the ability to accept, in addition to the two local schemes (gh-link™ and e-zwich), additional payment methods such as VISA, Mastercard, QR codes or mobile money wallets, and to run other Android based business applications, audited by Famoco to confirm their compliance with the payment ones.

The FP202: a device equipped with EMV certifications

The Famoco FP202 is equipped with an EMV L1 contact card reader and EMV L2 kernel to accept gh-Link cards, and a fingerprint scanner to accept e-zwich cards. Thanks to integrated SIM & SAM slots, the FP202 enables both online and offline e-zwich transactions. gh-link™ transactions are authorized by a dedicated EMV L3 application developed by the Famoco team.

The security of the banking transactions carried out every day by many users was a point not to be neglected for GhIPSS. This security can be found at Famoco with the tri-offer combining a secure Android OS, a remote management platform and secure mobile hardware. Indeed, the FP202 runs on an Android operating system without any google services, that protects data and doesn’t share meta-data with 3rd party servers. Just like every Famoco device, the FP202 devices are locked in a company environment where you only add and manage your business applications. Finally, this MPOS device has 0 street value, it is less likely to be stolen or “lost” by any retailers.

 

 

Daily work has become simpler and more enjoyable

Thanks to its software and hardware solutions, Famoco has enabled GhIPSS to provide a compelling offering that simplifies daily work of thousands of retailers throughout Ghana. According to the testimony of merchants who have experienced the POS, the FP202 allowed them to add more business apps to their POS to expand their business services and therefore boost their sales. Compared to the previous solution, the MPOS provided by Famoco has a better and faster connectivity, therefore is more cost-effective.

Today this project, initiated more than 6 months ago, has resulted in one thousand FP202 deployed (with firm orders for additional two thousand devices), 100% compatible with the country’s two payment schemes.

The GhIPSS project showed Famoco’s ability to understand, adapt and respond to even the most specific needs requested by major players.

 

 

GhIPSS logo

 

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