There is continuous growth in the volume of instant pay, emphasising customers’ preference for real time payment. Until recently, payments in Ghana except cash, took at least three days for the recipient to get value. But that has since changed with the introduction of mobile money, express payment services and more importantly the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP).
GIP allows customers to transfer or receive money instantly through the banking system, using any of the electronic payment platforms such internet banking or mobile banking. According to the 2019 performance of electronic payment products report released by Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), the volume of GIP based transactions shot up in excess of 1,200 percent from 144,000 in 2018 to 1.9 million last year.
The growth in instant pay volumes has been consistent since it was launched, showing customers preference for real time payments. The Chief Executive of GhIPSS Archie Hesse has described GIP as, “as good as cash but even more secured”, suggesting that customers’ preference would keep growing.
In line with the obvious interest in real time payments, GhIPSS has set out to roll a number of other real time payments this year. Speaking during a recent interaction with the media in Accra, Mr. Hesse said there was going to be enormous focus on real time payment products. He spoke of the planned launch of a universal QR code payment which will ensure customers can use their phones to scan merchants QR codes and make instant payments. Another real time product that GhIPSS has lined up for the year, is christened Proxy Pay. This service will link individual customers’ phone number to a bank account, such that payments can be made instantly by just typing in the phone number instead of the 13 digit account number. Proxy Pay is to ensure easy payments as phone numbers are easy to recall and type. However, for corporate organisations, their bank accounts will be linked to their names, so that one can just type in a company’s name and effect payments electronically.
GhIPSS also intends to launch Request to Pay, which will enable customers of service providers to make payments when they receive bills from their service providers. These bills will be received through SMS text message with options for the customer to approve payment with funds from their bank account These real time payments are expected to create more convenience for customers and ensure security of their payments transactions.