Payment initiatives present numerous business opportunities – GhIPSS

EzwichBanks are being asked to use the various initiatives by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) to better the lot of their customers.

This is important, considering the changing needs of the customer and the desire by banks to create value for their customers.

The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, made the remarks in an interview on the sidelines of a Breakfast meeting with Heads of Retail and Corporate banking in Accra.

The meeting was to keep the bankers abreast with the various initiatives and how they are faring as well as the new initiatives soon to be rolled out.

Mr Hesse noted that, along with the country’s development, customers’ needs are changing rapidly, which required that banks adopt payment systems to create the needed convenience for the banking public.

The GhIPSS CEO spoke of the various initiatives, including the gh-link set of services, the Direct Debit and Direct Credit Automated Clearing House, and electronic clearing of cheques and the various e-zwich services.

He explained that banks were the primary customers of GhIPSS as it was set up not to deal directly with the public but through banks. He therefore noted that the success of its operations is tied to the banks.

Mr Hesse explained that while the use of cheques remain very popular, not many people know about the express cheque, which enable people to cash a third party cheque on the same day they present it to a bank.

He said this express cheque service comes handy for busy people and therefore urged banks to make such services known to their customers.

He touched on the complaints some shareholders have in receiving dividend paid to them which involved the cumbersome process of going to the post office to pick up the payment order before presenting them to the bank for payment when the dividend could be paid directly to the bank account of the shareholder through the Direct Credit system.

Mr Hesse added that, the Direct Credit can also be used for salary payments, suppliers payments, pension payments and interest payments as well as individual payments.

Direct Debit on the other hand, he explained, could be used for mortgage payments, insurance premiums, loan repayments and utility payments.

He said churches could use it for tithe and offerings payment while associations could use it for membership subscription and dues.

Since its establishment, GhIPSS has been working to introduce a number of electronic payment systems to reduce the level of cash transactions.

Though cash remains the dominant forms of payment, the growth in the use of cheques, ATMs, Direct Credit and e-zwich Payment Distribution Systems suggests that there is some decline in the use of cash for payments.

He, however, said a lot more can be done, and that, the GhIPSS is taking various steps to see further growth in the volume and values of non-cash forms of payment transactions.

He said the patronage for gh-link ATMs have been phenomenal but said the focus now is to achieve similar success for the gh-link hybrid POSes.

“Since it is now possible for you to use your local ATM card to shop at major shopping centres in Accra and other cities, we need to get more people shopping and paying with card and not cash and that is our focus,” Mr. Hesse stressed.

He said GhIPSS is working closely with the banks to rollout a massive campaign to drive people to shop and pay with cards. He said as they interact more with the banks, he is hopeful that they in turn will support the national agenda of reducing cash transactions.

The GhIPSS CEO emphasized that all the initiatives present fantastic business opportunities for the banks and he is hopeful that the successes so far chalked will be exceeded in the coming months and years.

Source: GNA

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