Construction firms are being encouraged to explore the option of using e-zwich to pay their workers. This is to reduce the time and cost incurred in paying them, particularly when they are located at different project sites.
Construction companies are usually confronted with the challenge of paying many workers who work from different project sites, sometimes in different parts of the country. This usually results in time-wasting, high cost of processing such payments, and sometimes physical cash has to be moved to project sites to pay salaries. This normally results in delays of payment to workers.
In an interview the Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse, said such difficulties can be resolved by paying workers through the e-zwich, using the Payment Distribution System (PDS).
He explained that the PDS will enable construction companies to cut waste and enhance efficiency in payments. With this payment system, thousands of workers at different locations can be paid within a matter of hours; and their money will hit their e-zwich cards regardless of geographical location.
Mr. Hesse said the system has helped a number of companies with staff scattered round the country, as well as those who are remunerated based on commission, to cut back on the inefficiencies in paying emoluments. He stressed that the option of carrying physical cash to pay workers is not an option to entertain in these modern times, when there are better, safer, and quicker ways of doing it.
He also noted that spending long hours sorting cheques received or cheques to be paid out to a large number of people takes away crucial man-hours that could be used profitably in planning the next big project. "Technology has come to stay, and it is cheap no matter the way you look at it; so if you fail to apply it your profits will continue to be wiped away by old and inefficient methods of operation," he advised.
The GhIPSS CEO also indicated that the PDS enables companies to monitor the payment of salaries and trace all payments made and received, for purposes of accounting and auditing. The PDS has been around since the inception of e-zwich and many companies have been using it. Mr. Hesse therefore urged construction firms and related organisations to contact their banks to help them use the system. He said they can also approach GhIPSS for any assistance they may require.
Currently, all banks are required to issue e-zwich cards and the process is not cumbersome; however, in cases of very large staff numbers, GhIPSS together with banks are able to organise e-zwich enrolment for specific organisations or groups of organisations.