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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.

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