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The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) is seeking to reduce the turnaround time for payment of goods and services with the introduction of an E-bills payment service.

The service is among others expected to reduce the use of cash as government works to attain a cashless economy.

The CEO of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse explains that the e-bills payment service will enable billers (manufactures, Utility Service Providers etc) receive payments for goods and services using the Instant pay service.

The E-bills connects the payment platform for a specific merchant with GhIPSS instant pay which allows Instant interbank transactions.

“So if the distributors for a cement factory for example wants to make payment to a manufacturer, they could go unto their banks internet portal or app, select e-bills pay, complete the transaction process, and manufacturers account will be credited instantly. Currently you would have to go to designated banks to pay. But what the e-bills service offer is an opportunity to pay any biller directly from your account without any physical movement of cash” he told Citi Business News.

Already, the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) and the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) have advanced plans to hook unto the platform.

The two institutions are seeking to reduce the turnaround time for payments and prevent revenue leakages.

Mr. Hesse tells Citi Business News his outfit is working closely with the institution.

“We just started and two main government institutions (GCNet and GIFMIS) have come to see us that they want to link their payment systems with instant pay. In so doing with GCNet for example, once you get the order number and complete the online payment process, you do not need to go to the Port; GCNet will debit the clients account and credit that of the port.”

Total GhIPSS transactions hit GH¢208bn

In 2017, the volume of total transactions processed on all GhIPSS platforms reached 25 million.

This translated into a value of 208 billion cedis; up from the 174 billion cedis recorded in the preceding year.

Of this, transactions on the clearing house which involves express cheques and direct credit among banks, recorded the highest increase of 204 billion cedis.

Meanwhile, payment via e-zwich by government agencies, foreign donors and some private institutions remain key drivers of growth for e-zwich transactions.



GhIPSS transaction article 002The use of e-bills pay at public institutions can reduce the human interface and help bring down corruption, officials of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) have said.

Mr. Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive of GhIPSS, said a number of organisations were setting up to use the e-bills pay to enhance and make their payments more efficient and easy to account for.

The E-bills pay is an electronic payment system that enables large corporate institutions to receive payment via the internet or mobile applications. It is one of the latest initiatives by (GhIPSS), the national payment infrastructure provider.

The e-bills pay fashioned on the back of the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP), enables payments to be made and received immediately. The payment is made through banks, which have hooked their systems to the GIP platform. However, the receiving organisation must be set up to operate the system.

The e-bills pay can be used by both private and public organisations. It is considered very suitable for manufacturing companies, which deal with many wholesalers and retailers. It can also be used by airlines and big hotels to receive payments from customers and also suitable for public sector institutions, which receive taxes, levies and fees.

Mr. Hesse said beyond improving on efficiencies within organisations, the public being able to make payments electronically to institutions imply that the human interface would be significantly reduced.

This, he said, could remove some of the opportunities for various forms of corruption, and reduce the instances of pilfering, as payment would not pass through a cashier but go straight to the bank account of the institution.
Mr. Hesse said, while e-bills pay could play a role in reducing corruption, its efficiency and audit as well as the fact that the institutions would get their money the very moment it is paid, are the motivation for encouraging the institutions to adopt it.

He however said that there are several other uses and benefits that can be derived and urged the institutions to reach out to their banks or GhIPSS to be set up to receive payments through the e-bills pay system.

The global financial system is fast drifting towards instant pay, because it facilitates quick turnaround time for businesses. The introduction of GIP and now the e-bills pay therefore firmly places Ghana within the League of Nations with modernized payments.


More Merchants Needed to Deploy POSes--GhIPSSThe Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Interbank and Payment System (GhIPSS) Mr Archie Hesse said concerted effort was required to increase the number of point of sales (POS) and other electronic payment channels throughout the country.
He said the State, stakeholder institutions and business owners must work together to ensure effective deployment of POSes and other devices that accept electronic payments.

Electronic payment cards, internet banking and mobile money have created a huge volume of electronic payments but the CEO of GhIPSS noted that most of the transactions on these channels still end up in cash.
'A lot of us have debit and even credit cards in Ghana as well as mobile money wallets but most of us go and take cash from the ATMs and our mobile money wallet,' Mr Hesse said, adding that the practice defeats the real purpose of electronic payments and must be changed.

The GhIPSS Boss catalogues a number of steps that must be taken to reverse the trend, saying as a first step POSes and various apps that would enable people make payments with cards and mobile money must be sufficiently deployed.
He said GhIPSS would partner with stakeholders to champion the cause of deploying more electronic payment outlets.
He also said banks in partnership with merchants could introduce incentive packages for people who pay with cards or mobile money to encourage their users.

He intimated that there might be the need for policies to incentivize electronic payments and discourage cash and added that GhIPSS will work closely with stakeholders to explore those options.
Meanwhile, business owners are also asking for tax waivers on POSes and other devices for electronic payments, so that they could acquire and deploy more of them.

They argued that such waivers will not only enable them to acquire more of such devices but it will also make it easier for them to institute incentives for those who use them.

Experts have said the use of electronic payments was efficient and cheaper compared to the handling of cash by merchants.
They have also indicated that business owners were likely to make more sales when they have these devices because shoppers were able to spend more than they would if they were using cash. These merits, they say made the acquisition and deployment of the electronic payment devices by shop owners a profitable venture.


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