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Institutions are being urged to use Direct Credit payment for bulk disbursement of funds such as salaries, since it makes funds meant for different sets of people to be disbursed quickly and with ease.

Direct Credit which is one of the two forms of Automated Clearing House (ACH) services, is a simple, secure and reliable service which enables individuals, big and small organisations to make payments by electronic transfer directly into a bank account. It involves a debit to an account in the sender´s bank and a transfer of the amount of money directly into the beneficiary´s account in another bank.

The electronic nature of the Direct Credit makes disbursement of bulk funds quicker, safer, more secure and requires less effort and saves time.
It also enables recipients to receive their funds on time.

Direct Credit can be used for the payment of salaries, pensions, welfare benefits, commissions, supplier payments, dividend and refunds. It is also suitable for interest payments, government payments, as well as business-to-business payments.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Mr Archie Hesse, explained that the Direct Credit was very convenient and efficient since the process was not cumbersome.

He urged both public and private organisations which are not using Direct Credit for their bulk disbursement of funds to do so. He explained that the electronic payment system made it easy to trace all payments made.

Mr Hesse said even if recipients of the funds were with different banks, the funds disbursed would hit their respective accounts at the same time.

Mr Hesse added that payments made through Direct Credit usually hits the accounts of the recipient the next or same day if Express Direct Credit is used. He said in cases of emergencies, the Instant Pay can be used. “There are options for each situation and so the banks should educate their customers to use these more efficient and secured forms of payments” he stressed.

He also entreated banks to set up systems that would enable their corporate customers to send files electronically to them to make bulk fund disbursement seamless.

Direct Credit is one of the initiatives introduced by the national payment infrastructure provider, GhIPSS. Last year, almost five million Direct Credit transactions worth GH¢16.5 billion were undertaken. Between January and June this year, a total of about GH¢9.4 billion from about 2.7 million transactions took place compared to GH¢7.6 billion from 2.3 million transactions for the same period last year.

This represent an increase of 23.3 percent in terms of value and 15.6 percent in terms of volume for the half year. Before the introduction of the Direct Credit, such bulk disbursement of funds was done mainly through the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGs), however the Direct Credit, is a more appropriate payment system for such interbank transactions.

This is because Direct Credit is an entirely electronic payment system which provides a thorough audit trail and it is quicker and safer. But the RTG is partly manual and could be cumbersome and sometimes error ridden. RTGs also limit ability to provide an audit trail along the entire chain of transaction.

Government has resumed the payment of nursing and teacher trainee allowances using the e-zwich biometric system. The move will ensure transparency, a proper audit trail and prevent duplications on the payroll.

The payment of the allowance to the trainees has been handed over to the Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF), the body mandated to disburse loans to tertiary students.

The SLTF has been using the e-zwich to disburse students’ loan over the years and is the same system that will be used to pay the trainee nursing and teachers’ allowance.

The use of e-zwich to disburse such funds is also expected to inculcate in the students, the habit of using electronic payment cards and eventually discourage the over reliance on cash for transactions.

Commenting on the development, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) Mr. Archie Hesse, commended government for allowing these payments to be made through e-zwich.

He said the move is in furtherance of the cash-lite agenda and urged the students not to only receive the electronic funds on the card but to also use the card to make payment and transfer of funds.

GhIPSS has been setting up agents to offer e-zwich services to complement the financial institutions in order to make the service readily available to the teaming number of people, who now use it. A number of banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are also being reconfigured to accept e-zwich cards, just to increase the number of channels through which e-zwich can be accessed.

Mr. Hesse said GhIPSS will continue to work to ensure that e-zwich card holders enjoy smooth service at all times. He explained that there are designated staff, who visit the agents, the financial institutions and the ATMs to ensure efficient delivery of service.

The GhIPSS Boss urged the banks to see the payment of nursing and teacher trainee allowance as an opportunity to win over new depositors. He therefore challenged them to find innovative ways to make the use of e-zwich cards an enjoyable experience that will endear students to their banks.

Currently, student loans, National Service allowance, Youth Employment Agency remunerations and the various government social intervention programmes are carried out through the e-zwich with the nursing and teacher trainee allowance being the latest.
This implies that huge sums of transactions will be done through the e-zwich.

Mr. Hesse also urged shop owners to get hybrid Point of Sales (POS) devices in their shops so that they can also tap into the phenomenal growth that the e-zwich is experiencing.

The hybrid POSes accept both e-zwich and domestic cards.

Mr. Hesse said GhIPSS is its part, will continue to promote the biometric smart card and all other electronic payment channels to ensure that Ghana truly migrates into an electronic payment society

Source: GNA

GIP webThe public has been urged to turn to Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) Instant Pay (GIP) when they have to make quick or emergency payments. This is because the payment system allows bank customers to effect interbank transfers instantly. This was in a statement by Mr. Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

Mr. Hesse said the GIP is the most efficient and secured way to transfer money instantly from one account to another of a different bank.

He said there have been instances where bank customers urgently needed to receive or make payments, but until GIP was introduced, they had to rely on cheques or Automated Clearing House Direct Credit or Direct Debit, which took between a day and three days for the recipient to get value for the transferred funds.  

He said the situation has compelled many people to physically go to banking halls to withdraw cash in order to effect such urgent payments.

Mr. Hesse explained that the situation would no longer be necessary as the GIP allows for instant interbank transfers to be done electronically. He said the GIP can be done from a bank's mobile app or the internet banking portal, depending on the channels being offered by the customer’s bank and therefore would not require any physical movement.

Mr. Hesse urged the public to ask for GIP from their banks anytime they would make urgent payments. He said most of the major banks in the country offer the GIP service with some of them customising it to give additional value to their customers.

The GIP comes very handy for business people particularly because they can make multiple payments from the comfort of their offices and the intended recipients will get instant value for the transferred funds.

Mr. Hesse explained that situations where buyers have to wait for a day or two for cheques to clear before goods are released should be the thing of the past as suppliers can now be paid instantly through the banking system without stepping in the banking hall.

He anticipates that GIP would increase the turnaround time for many businesses and make payments stress free. He also urged banks to continue to educate the public about GIP, so that they can enjoy the convenience, efficiency and security that comes with the service.

GNA

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