Money That Isn’t: A Qualitative Examination of the Adoption of the 1 Pesewa Coin and Biometric Payment Cards in Ghana


The introduction of a new form of money into society can be deemed successful if it is adopted and integrated into the daily financial practices of a large part of the society. In other words, both central banks and the general society play a role in money objects becoming money. On occasion, social rejection of new money objects occurs, such that official legal tender is not accepted or put to use as a medium of exchange in financial transactions, resulting in financial deadweight. Using qualitative data on coin use subsequent to Ghana’s 2007 redenomination of the Cedi as well as the introduction of the e-zwich card, an electronic payment system, this paper explores two such cases of social rejection of a money object. Due to the role that society plays in adopting money objects, attempts to encourage adoption of money objects must include bottom up strategies.