Practical Life in Accra

Bank services in Accra

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Ghana's currency is the Ghana Cedi (GHS). They use a combination of notes (cedis) and coins (peswas), and 1 cedi is equal to 100 peswas.

In 2007 the country redenominated the cedi substantially, removing four 0's from the old currency. You will find that some people, especially vendors in the markets, continue to refer to the old currency (1000 cedi, old currency = 1 cedi, new currency).

ATM and Credit Cards

In Accra, ATMs are easy to find and will generally accept both international debit and credit cards (Visa cards are the most widely accepted, Mastercard can be more difficult).

Most ATMs do have limits on the amount you can withdraw at a single transaction and over the course of a day. These limits vary from machine to machine.

Most banks will charge a transaction fee for international withdrawals. Be sure to check with your bank at home to see if they have partnerships with any local Ghanaian banks that might allow them to wave this fee.


Money can be exchanged either at formal foreign exchange offices/banks, or on the street with moneychangers. Though the latter can give you a better rate, extreme caution must be exercised here as they are not regulated. Theft does occur. Some larger hotels will also change currencies.

Electronic Transfers

Western Union and Moneygram are located prominently throughout the country, and are the easiest and fasted way to transfer money.

It is also possible to do inter-bank transfers. However, this route is often more expensive and complicated.

Open an Account

Opening a local bank account is convenient for making cash withdrawals. It is relatively easy to open a basic checking or savings account, provided you can show your passport, proof of residence and possibly a letter from your home country bank.

You are able to choose from a number of commercial banks. The services they provide will range considerably, though most offer some form of internet and phone banking. Credit cards are not widely used or issued.

Keep in mind that withdrawing large amounts of currency out of your Ghana bank account can prove to be difficult. It is often wise to maintain a non-Ghanaian bank account for lager sums of money.


The major banks operating in Ghana include:

  • Standard Chartered Ghana
  • Barclays Bank of Ghana
  • Ecobank
  • Stanbic Bank

Update 9/05/2015


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