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Ghana Country Report

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  • Published Date: February 2016

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Ghana.


  • The consumer finance market is in its infancy for the vast majority of the population: 54 per cent of Ghanaians remain unbanked.
  • Ghana's housing market is dominated by informal funding: some 80-90 per cent of housing developments in Ghana are self-financed.
  • Ghana is predominantly a cash-based society with a payment cards market in its infancy.
  • Debit cards are the preferred card payment method and are used predominantly for cash withdrawals at ATMs.
  • E-money and mobile money are growing in popularity and are more easily accessible than traditional payment cards.
  • The e-zwich card is a national biometric prepaid smart card that operates by fingerprint recognition at ATMs and POS terminals around the country.
  • To encourage electronic payments, public sector workers have been paid through the e-zwich card since October 2014.
  • In July 2015, the Bank of Ghana issued a set of new mobile money guidelines that allow telecom companies to offer Mobile Money services.
  • There were an estimated 12.2 million mobile money customers and 52,000 agents at the end of 2015.
  • In August 2015, Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) launched an internet payment gateway for domestic ATM cards and an instant payments service.

Ghana Payments Research | Report Contents

The economy
Retail banking
Consumer finance market
Cards market
Profit pool
Pricing and enhancements
The networks (Credit cards and debit cards)
Key retail banks and issuers
Merchant acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information

Appendix I: Demographics

  • Population metrics
  • Ownership of key consumer goods
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: The Ghana economy

  • Major economic indicators

Appendix III: Retail banking

  • Major retail banking indicators
  • Banking/infrastructure penetration
  • Retail banks key metrics
  • Retail banks profit & loss metrics

Appendix IV: Consumer finance market

  • Consumer credit outstandings and indebtedness
  • Consumer credit outstandings by product

Appendix V: Ghana Cards market

  • Credit card numbers
  • Total credit card metrics
  • Consumer credit cards metrics
  • Commercial credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability Indicators
  • Debit card numbers
  • Debit cards metrics

Appendix VI: E-money

  • Prepaid/e-money cards metrics
  • Mobile money metrics

Appendix VII: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix VIII: Pricing and enhancements

  • Card pricing and enhancements

Appendix IX: The card networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value

Appendix X: Key retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card Issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix XI: Merchant acquiring and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships

Ghana Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
About 70 percent of the total population lives in the southern half of the country. The Ashanti region, Accra and Kumasi are the most densely populated parts of Ghana. Ghana's economy is the thirteenth-largest in the African continent in terms of nominal GDP.

Retail Banking
There were 29 retail banks in operation in Ghana at the end of 2015 with an estimated branch network of 1,032. There were 135 rural and community banks at the same date: these banks are run as cooperatives to meet the banking service needs of a large rural community.

Consumer Finance Market
The consumer finance market is in its infancy for the vast majority of the population: 54 percent of Ghanaians remain unbanked. The financial system remains relatively underdeveloped and still lacks most of the sophisticated financial products that are available in international financial markets

Cards market
Ghana is predominantly a cash-based society with a payment cards market in its infancy. There were an estimated 2.4 million payment cards in Ghana at the end of 2015, of which 11,388 were credit cards, 1.1 million were debit cards on international networks and 1.3 million were e-zwich biometric prepaid cards.

There were an estimated 12 million mobile money users in the country at the end of 2015,
representing a penetration rate of 68 users per 100 adults. However, only about 40 percent of the total users were active.

Profit Pool
The credit cards market in Ghana is tiny, with an estimated 11,388 cards in issue at the end of 2015. However, the market is profitable due to high APRs (of around 47 percent) and the tendency of issuers to demand collateral deposits from cardholders.

Card Networks:
Only three banks offer credit cards in the country: Zenith Bank Ghana, Access Bank Ghana and Ecobank Ghana. Debit cards have a significantly stronger presence than credit cards in Ghana, with one credit card for every 97 debit cards (11,388 versus 1.1 million) in the market.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
Ghana had an estimated 29 retail banks in 2015. The top five retail banks in Ghana, ranked by their total asset value, were Ecobank Ghana, Stanbic Bank Ghana, Ghana Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana and Zenith Bank Ghana.

Acquiring and Processing
Ghana's acquiring market is undersized when compared to the country's population. POS acceptance is mostly concentrated in Accra, the capital city. Most credit card issuing banks use in-house processing for card transactions.

Online Acquiring
E-commerce in Ghana is at a nascent stage and continues to suffer from poor demand, lack of
logistics infrastructure, low levels of confidence on electronic purchasing among consumers and lack of regulation related to online payment infrastructure.

Regulatory and Markets Information
The Bank of Ghana is the central bank of Ghana. The institution aims to achieve
soundness and effectiveness through supervisory and regulatory authority over banking and non-banking financial business.


Verisk financial reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in Africa. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and Africa finance experts.

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