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Ghanaians are shifting from cheques to more digital payments – Report

There is an increasing shift away from the use of cheques to electronic payments channels for various transactions, the half year summary performance of GhIPSS products has shown.

The report showed that although cheques continue to have the single largest share, its dominance is on the decline while other electronic payments are experiencing a faster growth in patronage.

In the first half of 2016, cheques accounted for 39 per cent of products and services offered through the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) platform but dropped to 30 per cent in the first half of this year.

E-zwich transactions are running neck to neck with cheques, accounting for 29 per cent of transactions for the first half of 2018, 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 the latest entrant, mobile money interoperability, which are all chipping away the shares of cheques.

Mr Archie Hesse, Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), noted that, the trend was a strong indication that people are adopting digital payment platforms.

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

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.

Some banks have therefore started introducing measures to discourage the use of cheques for smaller transactions, in order to encourage the public to go for channels such as ACH, GIP, e-bills pay or mobile money among others.

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.

He, therefore, 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.

Mr. Hesse said the GhIPSS, together with the banks, would continue to educate and assist organisations to set up their accounting system to recognise these various electronic payments.

Source: GNA

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