An Information Technology and Systems Expert, Mr. George Akom, has charged various institutions responsible for the issuance of smart and embedded chip cards to educate bearers on how to handle and preserve them for continuous usage so as to improve on their longevity.
He said that some Ghanaians do not know the proper ways of keeping and handling smarts cards because they are not aware of how delicate and sophiscated they are in terms of their features.
He emphasized that many users of these smart cards subject them to abrasion, heat, moisture, ultraviolet, and lamination and also have wrong usage patterns which l affect their durability.
He added that, now that Ghana is moving into the digital economy where most of our activities would be conducted by the mediation of information and communication technologies and information systems, citizens must be educated on the use of some of the services provided by these technologies.
Mr. Akom mentioned that with the government agenda of implementing the usage of national identification card (Ghana Card) for most of our economic transactions, how to handle and preserve these cards by citizens must be given serious attention.
”Handling of smart and embedded chip cards is different from other cards without chips. If proper education is not given to change the handling behaviours of the holders of these cards, it would create another problem for regular replacement and dissatisfaction by the users, and could discourage them from using the card”, Mr. Akom stated.
He further stated that all institutions that issue smart cards being for financial transactions or for identification purposes should educate users of these cards to save them from incurring so much cost for replacement and the inconveniences they go through before the cards are replaced or restored.
He made these statements when he interacted with some media houses on the rate at which some holders of the National Health Insurance cards always have their cards damaged after few months of acquiring them.
He continued that Ghanaians are now embracing the idea of using Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) cards for their transactions and they should not be in anyway be discouraged from using them due to intermittent faults, theft or damages of these cards.
He opined that due to the nature of our geographic locations and job schedules, institutions should explore the adoption and implementation of contactless smarts cards which do not require physical contact between a card and reader and can work remotely to provide some services for the users.
Mr. Akom who is an Assistant Registrar of Ghana Technology University College-Kumasi Campus, emphasized that the use of biometric systems would provide a more secure system that would be connected to the national database to have a holistic national integration of our e-government systems for digital economy. With this agenda, many people would be identified by various forms of smart payment systems and identification cards such as debit and credit cards, drivers license, passport, voters identification cards, national identification cards,SSNIT cards and national health insurance cards, and must be handled properly in a more secure and preserved manner.
He therefore charged institutions to educate holders of smart cards against theft and preservation methods.