Thames Card Technology Ltd (TCT), one of the UK's largest manufacturers of secure and non-secure plastic cards, specialising in banking and prepaid products, has won a competitive tender to be the sole supplier for the production, personalisation and distribution of one million EMV® chip payment cards for Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB Ltd.).
Thames will also offer its portfolio of consultancy services to support GCB Ltd. in its transfer to EMV over the next three years, in addition to working closely with the bank and its processor, International Card Processing Services (ICPS), to streamline integration with international payment systems.
Following consultation with Thames, GCB Ltd. is deploying its first commercial EMV products in anticipation of an October 2015 mandate from MasterCard and Visa requiring all Ghanaian banks to migrate to dynamic data authentication (DDA) capable cards. DDA provides protection against the modification of data and card cloning and is the most sophisticated EMV authentication protocol available today.
Samuel Sarpong, CTO at Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd., comments: "As the bank with the largest branch & ATM network in Ghana, we are working hard to stay ahead of the curve in the fight against payment fraud in Africa. EMV migration DDA mandates have been set for 2015 and Thames Card Technology will be central to our success in meeting these deadlines. It was of paramount importance that we found a partner with the ability to manage every stage of the card production process. Thames' full service offering, technical expertise and international experience of taking customers through EMV migration made it the ideal partner to help us deliver added payment security to our two million account holders."
Thames will manufacture nine different EMV cards for GCB Ltd., 'standard', 'gold', 'corporate' and 'private' for both MasterCard and Visa customers, in addition to a private label card for the bank, called 'Ready Cash'.
"We have a proven track record in supporting EMV implementations and look forward to guiding GCB Ltd. through this process," comments Paul Underwood, Managing Director of Thames Card Technology. "GCB Ltd. is at the forefront of the Ghanaian banking market, and with their plans to migrate all card holders onto EMV technology by the end of 2015 I am sure other financial institutions in Ghana, and surrounding countries, will be looking to follow suit."
As part of the migration process Thames has established a secure connection to GCB Ltd's payments processor, ICPS, which handles the payments processing for numerous banks across East and West Africa. Roshaan Kulpoo, General Manager of ICPS Ltd., comments: "This initial collaboration with Thames Card Technology provides a strong basis for future business initiatives on the continent."
Commenting on the new relationship with ICPS, Underwood adds: "We are now in a strong position to similarly assist the region's other financial institutions looking to provide their customers with a more secure and reliable solution."
EMV is a global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on secure chip technology. More than eighty countries worldwide have adopted, or are adopting, EMV, in order to increase transaction security, reduce fraud, enable cardholders to execute payments worldwide and take advantage of a payments infrastructure capable of supporting a variety of new value added applications.
This announcement follows news in January that Thames has secured growth capital investment of £3.2m from independent UK investment firm, BGF. Underwood concludes: "Banking in the developing world is gathering serious momentum. The investment from BGF is enabling us to deliver our trademark quality of service to customers further afield than ever before."