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Central bank officials and switch operators from six (6) African countries are in Ghana, to learn from the national payment infrastructure provider, Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System ltd (GhIPSS).

They came from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, as well as switches such as Rwanda Rswitch, Zambia Electronic Clearing House Limited, and Central Africa GIMAC.

Their visit stems from a partnership between AfricaNenda and GhIPSS to organize a peer learning visit for selected African countries. The objective of the learning Visit is to enhance the understanding and knowledge of central banks and switch operators in the deployment and management of Inclusive Instant Payment Solutions.
The participants are expected to gain valuable insights into GhIPSS's scheme rules, business model and use cases.

AfricaNenda is an African-led team of experts committed to unlocking the potential of digital financial services for the financially excluded across the continent, by
accelerating the scale-up of instant and inclusive payment systems. The Group settled on GhIPSS for the learning visits, because of the strides GhIPSS has made in developing of Instant Payment solution known as the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP).

GIP has deepened financial inclusion in Ghana and it is considered one of the most advanced on the Africa continent, based on AfricaNenda's State of Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (SIIPS) in Africa report 2022. As of December 2022, GhIPSS had processed a monthly average of 17.9 million Instant Payment transactions with 55 participating financial institutions.

During this learning visit, central bank representatives will participate in technical learning sessions, networking sessions and field visits.
Chief Executive officer of AfricaNenda Dr. Robert Ochola in a statement said he hoped the peer-learning event will support the growth of Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems in Africa, which the organisation considers critical to achieving universal financial inclusion by 2030. He stated that “we believe that Ghana's experience can offer critical lessons and good practices for regulators and policymakers in other countries, which is aligned with the organization’s agenda to accelerate knowledge sharing and enhance the capacity of African institutions”.

On his part, the Chief Executive of GhIPSS Archie Hesse said “GhIPSS is excited about this partnership as it affords us the opportunity to share the experiences and lessons learnt on our journey to achieving inclusive payments”.

Mr. Hesse was optimistic the knowledge sharing experience will provide the needed guidance to the various participating countries as they embark on the
development and deployment of their instant payment solutions.

The learning visit which ends on Friday will also help the participating countries to establish relevant networks and contacts to foster further sharing of expertise.

Source: GhIPSS

inclusive instant payGhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP) featured prominently in the first-of-its-kind report on Inclusive Instant Payments across Africa by AfricaNenda. The report provides details on the Instant Payment Systems (IPS) landscape in Africa and highlights ways in which they can become more inclusive to leave no African behind in the digital era. The report also highlights how the African continent can create opportunities and advance financial inclusion, through Instant Payments.

According to the Report, GhIPSS Instant Pay is one of the few systems across the African continent “moving towards achieving maturity” in terms of the level of Inclusivity of its GIP solution and service delivery. By nearing maturity, the report positions GIP as almost reaching the full range of payment use cases for its Instant Pay solution among others.

During a panel discussion, the CEO of GhIPSS, Mr Archie Hesse, explained that GhIPSS’ feat is a result of the interconnection of all the existing interoperable payment platforms within the country: the e-zwich biometric platform, the gh-link platform and the mobile money interoperability platform. This interconnection of systems he indicated, has been christened the financial inclusion triangle and has allowed the country to enable cross-platform transactions.

According to Mr Hesse, GhIPSS started with the e-zwich interoperable platform, it develop the gh-link national switch on which the Instant account to account rails was developed. Following that, the Mobile money interoperability platform was developed to enable cross-network transactions for mobile money companies in Ghana.

“What we then did was to close the triangle by making all the three platforms interoperable to ensure that no matter who is making payment and from wherever they will be able to do so seamlessly and instantly,” he said.
Archie Hesse said GhIPSS has since improved the services by adding other services like Proxy Pay, Internet payment Gateway, Request to Pay and the Universal QR Code dubbed GhQR, which can be linked to both bank accounts and digital wallets, with affordability as the key driving force.

He said GhIPSS, in collaboration with the banks, have also come up with a bank-wide wallet called GhanaPay to ensure that the banks also play a role in the mobile money space with the view to bridging the financial inclusion gap.
He was speaking at the launch of the report on the back of the GSMA Mobile World Congress held in Kigali Rwanda.

Details of the report can be found on the GhIPSS website under downloads


Mr Hesse newThe Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS), a subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Archie Hesse has urged the public to use electronic payment channels to send and receive money. He said this was crucial following the frequent reports of robbery attacks.

The past week has recorded a number of daylight robbery attacks in which unspecified amounts of money were reported stolen from the victims. The victims are suspected to have been traced from banks and attacked midway.

Speaking in an interview, Mr Hesse explained that such robbery attacks could be easily avoided if people sent or received monies electronically.
Mr Hesse stated that several electronic payment services exist and regardless of the amount of money that people need to send or receive, there were various options that could be explored to make such payments without carrying physical cash.

"A major reason for introducing these electronic payment platforms is to avoid moving about with cash, so there is absolutely no excuse now to carry cash when you can send or receive that amount electronically."

GhIPSS, through financial institutions, FinTechs and telcos, has introduced many services to make and receive payments, including the transfers of funds across bank accounts within minutes such as the ACH Near Real-Time transfers and instant transfers via GhIPSS Instant Pay. It is also possible to transfer funds from bank account to mobile money wallets and vice versa, while payments can be made directly from bank accounts or mobile money wallets using cards, or GhQR.
Mr Hesse urged the public to use any of these services which were efficient, convenient and safe.

"If you can walk to the banking hall to withdraw huge sums of money, then it means you have a bank account from which you can transfer that amount, so why expose yourself to avoidable risks?"

Mr Hesse encouraged banks to educate their customer about the avoidable risk of carrying huge sums of money when those amounts can be transferred to single or multiple recipients.

Mr Hesse warned that robbery cases may increase from now to the festive season and urged the public to use the various electronic channels. The GhIPSS Boss said public education would be intensified to sensitize the public to embrace electronic payment as a way of life, adding that cash was no longer king as electronic payment is now the best option.

He said while the security agencies make the efforts to rid the streets of criminals, the public could complement the efforts by completely staying away from moving with huge sums of money unless there was police protection.

ghpaylaunchThe Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has collaborated with the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB) for the development and launch of a bank-wide mobile wallet christened GhanaPay. The move is an attempt by the GAB to extend financial inclusion to low KYC customers using existing familiar channel like the mobile wallet solution.

Speaking at the launch of GhanaPay, the CEO of GhIPSS, Mr. Archie Hesse indicated that GhIPSS’ collaboration with the GAB stems from the vision and mandate of the company. According to Mr. Hesse, GhIPSS’ role require that they collaborate with the financial services industry to provide interoperable payments solutions which will foster financial inclusion. A collaboration with the GAB, was therefore an opportunity for GhIPSS to collaborate on yet another interoperability project for the banking sector. He added that GhIPSS was excited about the partnership and will continue to collaborate with all financial service providers to migrate Ghana to the Cash-lite society it seeks to be.

Also speaking at the event was the Governor of the Central bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison. He said the launch of the GhanaPay will complement mobile money and banking services, Dr. Addison said GhanaPay is one of such innovations in the financial sector that seeks to address some of the challenges associated with the current bank centric models by providing an open application that leverages on network infrastructure of the entire banking industry. He encouraged the banking sector to collaborate and further explore more pioneering ways to attain greater efficiency in the payments ecosystem.

The Governor congratulated GhIPSS and the banking industry on the development of GhanaPay, According to him, it was a fervent hope that this collaborative spirit will be sustained and enhanced to move the country towards a successful migration to electronic payments and an efficient and effective payment system.
GhanaPay is a mobile money service provided by universal banks, rural banks and savings and loans. Like all existing mobile money services, GhanaPay allows all customers to perform both mobile money and banking services.

Source: GhIPSS

GhIPSS logoThe GhIPSS 2021 half year performance report has shown that the GhQR and other new electronic services have started making gains. These electronic channels, including GhQR, ACH Direct Credit Near Real Time, GIP Debit pull, and Proxy Pay introduced by Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) cumulatively recorded 358,000 transactions in the first half of the year, representing 0.51 percent of total transactions processed by GhIPSS.

In value terms, the transactions processed was GH¢3.2 billion, representing 2 per cent of total value of transactions processed by GhIPSS.

The new services add on to existing electronic payment channels as the country seeks to deepen the cashless agenda.
The half year report captures the performance of all services provided by GhIPSS between January and June this year compared to the same period last year.

According to the performance report, GhIPSS processed a total of 70.2 million transactions representing a growth of 142 percent compared to 2020 half year.
Total value processed was GH¢158 billion, representing a growth of 40 percent.

The report also shows that the public continues to prefer real time payments to other electronic payment channels. Total volume of real time transactions shot up by 254.6 percent from 16.3 million to 57.8 million, while total value of transactions jumped by 402.8 percent from GH¢3.8 billion in 2020 to GH¢19.5 billion in 2021.
The Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS Archie Hesse explained in an interview that the positive performance of the services in the first half of this year can be attributed to the collective effort of all platform members to promote cashless transactions.
"This strategy is apt as customers are becoming more aware of the various cashless services and are beginning to incorporate them into their payment life styles,” he said. Mr. Hesse said GhIPSS was also undertaking various customer engagements to create awareness and promote usage of the various electronic payment services. He commended partner institutions comprising financial institutions, FinTechs and Telcos for the support and urged them to continue to position electronic payments as preferred payment lifestyle.
GhIPSS has been holding series of fairs at shopping malls to drive patronage for GhQR.

The institution is hopeful that such fairs and other awareness creation activities with the active involvement of partner institution will firmly place Ghana within the electronic payment society.

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