The use of cheques to make payment could witness further decline in volume, following the addition of the Automated Clearing House Direct Credit, Near Real Time payment channel.
This is because the Near Real Time (NRT) payment channel offers a better and quicker alternative to cheques.
The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse in an interview explained that the NRT payment allows corporate institutions or organisations to make single or batched payments by transferring funds electronically into different bank accounts throughout the country.
“NRT is the latest type of the ACH Direct Credit introduced by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), but unlike the regular Direct Credit which takes between 24 and 48 hours for the transferred funds to hit the account of the recipient, the NRT is effected within 15 minutes,” he said.
The use of cheques to make payments he said was becoming less popular globally, as countries introduce quicker, more secure and convenient forms of payment and the trend was similar in Ghana.
“While the volume of payment channels such as ACH, GhIPSS Instant Pay and Mobile Money, continues to rise, the volume of cheque transactions is experiencing decline year after year,” he said.
With the addition of the NRT payment, Mr Hesse said more institutions were expected to move away from cheques for payments of their suppliers, salaries, commissions and pension, as these payments could be done quicker, more convenient and safer using the NRT as well as the regular Direct Credit.
“While paying with cheques could be cumbersome and time wasting, NRT is not, ” he said.
Mr Hesse encouraged organisations seeking to make faster bulk or batched payments to individuals, business partners, suppliers, or service providers, to use NRT, to ensure that the intended recipients get the money almost immediately.
He explained that the introduction of the NRT was to respond to the need for quicker bulk payments.
Mr Hesse urged institutions to contact their banks in order to access and experience the service.
“The world is moving away from cheques because it takes too much of your productive time but NRT is simple and payment is effected to many accounts at different banks almost immediately,” he said.
The GhIPSS boss said he was hopeful that NRT would motivate business owners to also move away from cash payments.
“Carrying cash in bulk to pay suppliers etc. is so unsafe and since that same money can be sent almost immediately through the NRT, then it is a far better option for our businessmen and women,” Mr Hesse emphasised.