Businesses told to re-align to changing payment landscape
Businesses would have to adapt to the changing payment system in order to support the cash-lite drive, Mr Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS), has said.
Speaking to the media, Mr Hesse said some long held corporate practices would have to be aligned to electronic payments.
Ghana since 2007 has been making steady and significant progress towards an electronic payment society with the introduction of many electronic payment channels.
The next major initiative will lead to a total inter-operability of the financial system where bank accounts will be linked to the various mobile money platforms as well as e-zwich and vice versa.
There will also be inter-operability among the various mobile money platforms. The landmark achievement should allow for seamless transfer of funds in the country.
However, Mr Hesse said if some traditional corporate practices were not re-aligned, the expected gains might take a much longer time.
He said for instance small and big businesses should not consider cheques as the only formal way of paying their service providers and clients.
Instead, they should also use various electronic payment channels and treat them as formal.
He explained that corporate institutions can use Automated Clearing House (ACH) Direct Credit, Instant pay, e-bills pay and other electronic payment options to pay their service providers.
“Our internal and external payment procedures should now accept electronic payments as official forms of payment, even if it meant making minor changes to our documentation system,” he said, adding that cheques were becoming old fashioned compared to other options.
The use of ACH Direct Credit has gone up incredibly rubbing shoulders with cheques in terms of volume of transaction.
Mr. Hesse said the increasing use of ACH showed that cheques could no longer be considered as the only formal way of making corporate payments adding that there were far more efficient ways of payments compared to cheques and called for a shift from cheques to other more efficient electronic payment channels.
Mr Hesse also challenged utility providers who offered prepaid services, to also adapt their systems to accept electronic payment options such as mobile money, online and mobile banking channels and explained that besides the efficiency it brought to firms, it also brought convenience to customers.
He expressed the hope that non-cash forms of payment was going to rise significantly but said re-aligning of payment procedures by organisations could expedite the cash-lite agenda.