Electronic payments see steady rise

The use of electronic forms of payment as opposed to cash continues to witness a steady rise as the various electronic payment options record growth in patronage.

According to the half year report by the Ghana Interbank and Payment Settlement Systems, (GhIPSS), payments through Automated Clearing House (ACH) has seen significant increase in the number of people using the payment option as well as the value of monies transferred through it.

The increase in patronage affected both the Direct Credit and Direct Debit forms of ACH.

The half year report indicates a 30.66 per cent increase in the value of Direct Credit transactions to GH7.6 billion worth of fund transfers while the volume also went up by 15.45 per cent to 2.3 million transactions.

The lesser used of the two, Direct Debit on the other hand witnessed a huge jump in the value of transactions going up by 115.78 per cent to GH66.8 million while volume of Direct Debit transactions went up by 43.4 per cent to 421,913 transactions.

GhIPSS and the banks are currently rolling out public campaign on ACH and the growth in the volumes and values of ACH transactions can be attributed to similar campaigns that were undertaken last year.

The ACH is an electronic form of payments that allows a bank customer to instruct his or her bankers to deduct a specific amount of money and transfer it to the account of another person or institution with a different bank. It can be used for repetitive transfers as well as one off transfers.

Currently, many firms use ACH to pay salaries, insurance claims as well as payment of dividends, while individuals use it to pay for mortgages as well as items bought on hire purchase and to transfer money into the bank accounts of others. Some also use it to pay utility bills, insurance premiums, loan re-payments, rent, subscription based service payments among others.

In an interview, the Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse said the convenience and security that customers get from using ACH has also helped in increasing patronage. He urged institutions and individuals who are not using ACH to approach their banks and enquire about the service. He said GhIPSS, together with the banks will continue to create awareness about ACH and other non-cash forms of payments.

GhIPSS, set up in 2007 by the Central Bank, has been working closely with the banks to promote non-cash forms of payments in the country.

 Business Desk Report

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