Preference shifting away from cheques to digital payments – GhIPSS report

There is an increasing shift away from the use of cheques to electronic payments channels for various transactions.

Although cheques continue to have the single largest share, it is growing at a slower pace while other electronic payments are experiencing a faster growth in patronage the half year summary performance of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) product has revealed.

The dominance of cheques began to reduce following the introduction of electronic payment products, the report said.

In the first half of 2016, it accounted for 39 per cent of products and services offered through the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) platform.

Its percentage share dropped further to 30 per cent in the first half of this year.

According to the report E-zwich transactions are running neck to neck with cheques, accounting for 29 per cent of transactions for the first half of this year, followed closely by ACH Direct Credit which accounted for 26 per cent of the transactions.

“The other services with smaller contributions include gh-link, Direct Debit, GIP and latest entrant, mobile money interoperability, which are all chipping away the shares of cheques,” the report said.

Mr. Archie Hesse, Chief Executive, GhIPSS commenting on the report noted that the trend was a strong indication that people were adopting digital payment platforms for payment.

He added that the introduction of mobile money interoperability in just two months have taken 3 per cent of total transaction volume of 2018 half year.

Cheques are increasingly being considered as less efficient as it involves physically going to the banking hall when the same transaction could be performed faster using other channels without visiting a banking hall.

Mr. Hesse said the patronage for ACH Direct credit which allows for electronic interbank transfers was enjoying a steady rise, as many institutions and individuals continue to find it a better alternative.

Mr. Hesse encouraged organisations not to restrict formal payment to cheques only but to open up and accept other channels as equally formal ways of making and receiving payments.

He explained that the various electronic channels have audit trails and other details that could be recorded in their books for accounting purposes.

“ Times have changed and there are quicker, faster and more secured ways of making formal payments  and our organisations must move with the times and accept these new channels as formal payments as well,” he emphasised.

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