About 10.3 billion cedis worth of interbank payments were done through ACH Direct Credit from January to October this year, according to data from the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).
This represents about 34.7 percent increase over 7.6 billion Ghana cedis recorded over the same period last year, indicating a significant and consistent growth in the use of ACH Direct Credit. The value of transactions done in its first year of introduction was 1.2 billion Ghana cedis, moving up to 3.5 billion, a year later in the whole of 2012 and 5.8 billion by the end of 2013.
ACH Direct Credit is an electronic payment system used for interbank transfers. It was introduced some 4 years ago by Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems, a subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana, as part of efforts to align Ghana´s payment system to global trends.
ACH Direct Credit also has an express service, which allows bank customer to have same day value for their interbank transfers. The Express service which was introduced later, also continue to witness growth in its patronage. About 1.2 billion cedis worth of transactions were done through the express window from January to October this year compared to 797 million Ghana cedis recorded for the same period last year.
The persistent growth in the patronage of ACH Direct Credit has been attributed to the benefits that customers derive from using the electronic payment system. It is a faster, secured and more convenient form of making interbank payments especially for bulk payments going to different recipients such as salaries, pensions and dividends. It is also used for every day interbank payments by individuals as well as insurance claim payments, servicing of mortgages and other recurring payments.
Patronage for ACH Direct Credit is projected to increase further in the coming months following an aggressive publicity campaign undertaken by GhIPSS together with the banks. Officials of GhIPSS are hopeful more people will opt for the payment system. They urged customers to request for ACH payment options from their bankers to enjoy the benefits that come with it. ACH has become the preferred payment option in most advanced economies and it is anticipated that the situation would be the same in Ghana in the near future.