Ghana gets electronic cheque clearing system
The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhiPSS) on Monday launched an electronic cheque clearing system dubbed “Cheque Codeline Clearing with Truncation” (CCC) which will ensure clearance within a day from September this year.
The system that would enhance efficiency, reliability and timeliness in the clearing of cheques, is aimed at eventually phasing out the current manual paper credit clearing system. Currently, cheques to be cleared are transported to clearing houses and physically exchanged among member banks, which makes their handling and processing costly, insecure and time consuming lasting for a minimum of three days in Accra and Tema Metropolis. Outside the Greater Accra, clearing currently takes about ten days.
Speaking at the launch of the system in Accra, Mr Fred France, Chief Executive Officer of GhiPSS, said payments were core to banks’ profitability that accounted for up to 35 per cent of revenue, a reason which necessitated the CCC system to further encourage growth of banks in the country.
Mr France said the new system would ensure that there was only one clearing house instead of the current 11 clearing houses to save cost and lower operational expenses. He said alongside the CCC service, GhiPSS was also implementing a parallel system for managing non-cheque interbank transfers through an Automated Clearing House system, which would soon be launched as banks developed their capacity to use it.
He assured that GhiPSS would live up to its mandate to develop and manage required payment infrastructure that supported interoperability among financial institutions as well as continued to look for ways to provide practical innovation to enhance operations of banks.
Dr H.A.K Wampah, a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), charged the banks to take advantage of the new facility to improve payment system in the country and make it impact positively on economic development.
He said in a highly competitive and globalised economic environment, it was incumbent on the financial sector to promote efficiency and speed in economic activities, the reason for which the CCC system was relevant.
He said this was why the BoG had continued to take measures to improve the financial sector especially security and efficiency of payment systems bringing it up to international standards. The CCC system was financed by the Millennium Development Authority, which hoped to use the platform to reach out to rural populations that are under-served in terms of banking services as well as widen access to savings, credit and cash transfer services.