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In September this year, mobile money interoperability reached one million transactions. This is the highest number of transactions recorded in a single month since the service was introduced in 2018. This is an increase of over 250% as compared to September 2018 where the transaction recorded 312,000.


This update was contained in the Third Quarter Industry Transaction report published by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) .
The mobile money interoperability service was introduced in May 2018 recording about 100,000 transactions in its first few weeks.
The volume of the service grew steadily recording a monthly average of 280,000 transactions last year.


This year the service began with about 400,000 transactions in January. This rose to about 750,000 transactions in July and now to over one million in September.
The total volume of the cross-network transactions from January to September this year stood at 5.1 million.


The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse was optimistic that the volume of transactions would continue to increase. He added that GhIPSS is working with telcos to increase awareness about the existence of mobile money interoperability.

Mobile money interoperability allows customers to be able to transfer funds from one mobile money wallet to another wallet across networks.
This reduces or removes the difficulties involved with transfers across the various networks in the country, which was only possible through the token system.

Instant money transfers have been done almost a million times by the public, from the beginning of the year to September, indicating continuous increase in patronage of the service.
 
The third quarter industry performance report released by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS), shows that funds transferred through the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP) stood at over 950,000 transactions.
 

This is significantly higher than the total transactions for the whole of last year, which was just a little over 140,000 transactions.

The growth in patronage for GIP follows public awareness created by GhIPSS, financial institutions and telcos as well as its usage by Fintechs.
 
The GIP is an instant way of making payments or transferring money electronically. Monies transferred through GIP hits the account or mobile money wallet of the recipient the very moment the money is sent.
 

Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse urged the public to use GIP any time they need to make or receive money urgently.

He explained that transfers made through GIP gets instant value and the recipient can use the money the moment it is transferred.
 
He also said that GIP was introduced to address the real time payment needs of businesses and individual and was hopeful that the uptake will continue to go up.
 
The GIP and Mobile Money Interoperability are two key payment channels that experts say will substantially deepen financial inclusion in Ghana.
 
The third quarter industry performance report indicates that majority of GIP transactions involve transfer of funds from bank account to mobile money wallet.
 
Almost 80 per cent of the over 950,000 transactions recorded between January and September this year, were transfers from bank accounts to mobile money wallet.
 

However, transfers from bank account to another bank account mostly used for higher value transactions accounted for almost 65 per cent of the value of transactions during the period.

Almost all the major banks offer GIP to their customers though their internet or mobile banking platforms.
 

Some Fintech companies also ride on the GIP platform to facilitate transactions across mobile phones and accounts.

Customers are able to transfer funds from their bank account to another bank account of a different bank and payment is effected instantly.
 
However, GIP also enables the public to transfer money from their bank account to their mobile money wallet.
 

This development continues to shows that most customers associate convenience with mobile money and other mobile banking solutions.

 
Users of e-zwich biometric cards have more options to access it, as close to 500 agents now provide the e-zwich service. The public can go to these agents to withdraw, transfer or load cash onto their e-zwich cards. The agents can be identified through the display of e-zwich signage’s at their shops.When e-zwich started, the service was only available at branches of banking institutions.
 
Provision of service was therefore limited and created inconvenience for cardholders. However, with consistent growth in the number of cardholders as well as the volume of transactions, the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS), whose initiative it is, decided to allow agents to also provide e-zwich services.In the first half of this year alone, the total volume of e-zwich transactions processed by these agents is over 400,000, representing close to 10 percent of the total volume of e-zwich transactions.
 
The volume is expected to go up as more agents are engaged.GhIPSS has been undertaking a number of training programmes for exiting agents as well as new ones. This is to ensure that they are sufficiently empowered to provide optimum service to customers.
 
The Chief Executive of GhIPSS Mr. Archie Hesse said there will be continuous deployment and training to ensure that there are enough agents to attend to cardholders all over the country. He said the public can access e-zwich services at outlets that display the e-zwich signage and encouraged them to do so. He explained that the e-zwich agent model plays two key roles, by increasing access to the service and also providing income generating activities to the agents.
 
He is hopeful that with the level of interest shown by agents, e-zwich services will be all over the place in a short time. Mr. Hesse also encouraged financial institutions to partner these agents, since they could support their branchless banking agenda.The volume of e-zwich transactions continue to witness a rise, going up by 51.4 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2018. With the conclusion of the second phase of mobile money interoperability (financial inclusion triangle), e-zwich cardholders are able to transfer funds from the card to their mobile money wallets at agent locations.

Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) has partnered with Verve International, a leading payments technology and card brand in Africa, to launch the acceptance of Verve Cards in Ghana.

 
Launching the partnership in Accra last Friday, the head of payment systems at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Settor Amediku, said improving electronic payment in the sub region was very necessary and important because it made transactions as simply and affordable as possible.
He was of the view that to enhance financial inclusion, there was the need for African leaders to support and promote the creation of strong payment institutions across the continent.
 
According to him, GhIPSS’ collaboration with Verve would go a long way to create an enabling environment for retail payment to thrive between Ghana and Nigeria.
 

Dr Amediku, however, called for the implementation of a card bank policy that would not hold customers funds for longer periods to enhance the confidence of card bank holders, adding that high transaction and payment charges also discouraged card usage.

"Affordable transaction fees has the potential of scaling up adoption and usage. As the host country for the Africa Free Trade, we are very excited about this partnership and its potential. This is another milestone worth celebrating, as we strive to grow the network on every part of the continent," he added.
 
He commended Verve and GhIPPS for the collaboration and urged them to keep enhancing intra-Africa crossborder payment, in furtherance with the Africa Free Trade agenda.
 

In his remarks, Mr Mike Ogbalu III, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Verve International, stated that Verve and GhIPSS shared similar vision to grow digital payments in Africa.

He said, "We are excited about this occasion. It marks the beginning of a great synergy between two organisations with similar aspirations to drive the growth of digital payments across Africa. Because we typically share the same payment and economic challenges in various African countries, it is also logical that the solution should be via African collaboration."
 
Growing digital payments, intra-Africa trade and ultimately driving economic prosperity, he said, were the priorities of his outfit.
 
On his part, the CEO of GhIPSS, Mr Archie Hesse, explained that the partnership was a welcome development as it had the capacity to boost the Ghanaian digital payment system, highlighting that the development of the digital payment system in Africa was critical to Africa's competitiveness in the world.
 
He said, "We are positive this collaboration will open a new vista of opportunities for improved services and development of more home-grown solutions. The card portfolio within our banks will increase and Ghanaian cardholders will have more exciting world class services and benefits to enjoy."
 

He also assured that the partnership would accelerate trade, cooperation, commerce, cultural exchange and also reduce poverty.

Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) is set to launch a bank card which has the functionalities of an e-zwich and gh-link card on Wednesday.

 

The launch is part of efforts to encourage the use of cards for transactions. It is to provide the public with the option of carrying one card with dual functionalities instead of two separate cards.

e-zwich has seen a steady rise in transactions over the past years.
 
In the first half of this year alone, over 5.5 million e-zwich transactions took place, representing an increase of over 51 per cent over the same period in 2018, which was about 3.6 million transactions. The continuous growth in e-zwich transactions suggests that there are several people who use e-zwich cards but also have their regular gh-link cards and are compelled to carry both cards at all times. But with the introduction of the new card, such people can opt for it but still enjoy the functionalities of both.
It is anticipated that more people will be inclined to carry one card and use it regularly than to carry two or more cards each time.
 
The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse is positive that the various efforts at promoting electronic payments are yielding positive results and new initiatives will continue to be rolled out to further deepen electronic payments in Ghana.
 
Although cash transactions continue to dominate, available figures point to a gradual reduction, as the volume of electronic payment transactions see consistent growth. In the first half of this year, the volume of electronic payment transactions monitored by GhIPSS stood at over 16 million compared to 12.2 million transactions for the first half-year of 2018, representing an increase of over 31 per cent.
 

In order to continue to reduce cash base transactions, various efforts continued to be pursued by key stakeholders such as GhIPSS, the Banks, Fintechs and other related organisations. The launch of the new card is, therefore, one of such efforts to encourage more people to opt for electronic payment channels.

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