Companies and organisations are being encouraged to use less of cheques and more of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) for payments in the coming year. A statement signed by Mr Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the move to drive patronage for ACH was in line with the global trend towards the use of technology to achieve efficiency.
It said the use of cheques by organisations had been a long-held tradition because they were perceived as a more formal way of making payments. The statement noted that the use of cheques, especially for bulk payments, was cumbersome and inefficient, cost more, and consumed a lot of time that could be profitably used for core activities of the organisation.
“The use of cheques also exposes firms to cloning and sometimes difficulty in tracking cheques that have been issued, but ACH is electronic, quicker, safer and easier to trace,” it added.
The ACH comes in two main forms - Direct Credit and Direct Debit and an ACH transaction takes about 24 hours or a couple of hours in the case of express service.
The statement explained that unlike cheques, which must be individually issued to each recipient, ACH payments could be batched in large volumes and sent electronically at once to several recipients.
“ACH patronage has been rising steadily since its introduction recording over 3.3 million transactions in the first half of 2017, representing close to 48 per cent of clearing house transactions, ‘’ it said.
However a lot of the ACH transactions are of lower values, accounting for less than 20 per cent of clearing house transactions in value terms,” the statement added.
It said the clearing house transactions comprised cheques and ACH and GhIPSS was hoping that its campaign, which had resulted in increased patronage for ACH, would be intensified to see a significant rise in the value of ACH transactions as well.