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The volume of Instant Pay transactions went up to 143,879 transactions in 2018, representing an increase of 244 percent over 41,795 transactions recorded in 2017, a Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) report has shown.
 
In its first year of operation in 2016, only 184 Instant Pay transactions took place, largely because the service was introduced in the later part of that year.
 
The growth in transactions is an indication that more bank customers are exercising the option of using Instant Pay to transfer funds or make payments from their bank account to another account with a different bank.
 

The Instant Pay makes interbank transfers and payments instant, such that immediately the money is transferred, the recipient can access it. Speaking during an interaction with journalists in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, Mr Archie Hesse said globally, payments are gravitating towards instant payment.

He explained that because the service could be accessed electronically, it created convenience to customers as they can perform instant payment transactions from their bank account without moving an inch.
 

While volume of transaction grew by 244 percent in 2018, the growth in value of transaction was much higher at 542 percent.
The more than proportionate growth in the value compared to the volume, suggests that the payment system is trusted by customers and are therefore using it for higher value transactions, Mr. Hesse explained. He noted that Instant Pay was an important service that ensure quick, convenient but secured movement of funds in the economy.
Mr. Hesse urged the public to continue to keep their money within the banking system, because it can now be easily and quickly moved around to address their business needs.

Instant Pay is currently the fastest way to transfer funds or make payment from one bank account to another of a different bank and it was introduced to create convenience to bank customers and to facilitate quick payment.
 
Instant Pay service is offered by the banks and currently most of the major banks provides the service. While some banks offer the Instant Pay service through their internet banking portals, others do it through their mobile banking portal. Some of the banks however offer the Instant Pay service on both the mobile banking and internet banking portals. GhIPSS Instant Pay is the generic name, but various banks call it by different names.
 

The introduction of the Instant Pay service is greatly enhancing business transaction as businesses are able to make and receive payments instantly through their bank account to support the quick turnaround of their goods.

GNA

 

Cross-network mobile money transfers were done about 2.2 million times between May and December 2018, according to figures released by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).This shows a continuous increase in patronage of the service.Before the introduction of mobile money interoperability in May last year, such cross-network transfers were done through the ‘token’ system.


The monthly average for transactions under the ‘token’ system was about 93,000. However, the average transaction per month with the introduction of mobile money interoperability for last year is pegged at about 280,000 transactions, which shows a difference of over 200 percent.In its first month of introduction, less than 100,000 transactions took place; but this has risen steadily to over 400,000 transactions in the month of December 2018 alone.With the mobile money interoperability, customers, are now able to transfer funds from one mobile money wallet to another wallet across networks. This eliminates the previous complexities and inconveniences associated with transfers across the various networks in the country.


Mobile money interoperability has also been seen as an important vehicle for deepening financial inclusion, because it enables people who do not have bank accounts to be roped into the banking system – as any money kept on a mobile money wallet is actually held at a bank.In the wake of mobile money interoperability, a number of institutions including Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company, pay television channels, some fuel stations and supermarkets now accept mobile money as one of their payment options. The ‘Pay Bill’ option on mobile phones leads customers to several service providers that can be paid through mobile money.


Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, said with the seamless transfer of funds across different mobile networks more organisations should accept mobile money as a payment option. He said because of the convenience, organisations stand to benefit if they accept mobile money from their customers. He also challenged accountants to devise ways of accepting mobile money as an official channel for paying and receiving funds, in line with the changing times.Mr. Hesse anticipates that cross-network mobile money transactions will continue to rise in the coming months. He commended Fintechs which have developed solutions that enable supermarkets and organisations in general to receive mobile money through a shorter process. “Paying at a shop or at a company using mobile money does not require that you go through the long process following the various prompts. Fintechs have developed shorter ways of paying, and companies should approach these Fintechs for support,” Mr. Hesse stated.

 

The GhIPSS CEO indicated that the future is mobile phones, and many other financial services and products will be fashioned on the mobile platform to bring greater convenience and efficiency to customers as well as the organisations themselves. He said GhIPSS will always ensure the security and sanctity of the electronic payment system.

 

Source: GNA

VSN 0806Many schools in Ghana require parents and students to pay their fees at various bank branches before, in some cases, continuing the process online. This is generally considered an improvement from the days when cash was paid at the accounts and cash offices of schools.

But the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Mr. Archie Hesse, said in an interview that the current system leaves much to be desired. He is of the view that parents and students should be able to pay their school fees electronically without visiting any bank branch.
Mr. Hesse is therefore challenging Fintech companies in the country to interface with the schools and their banks to provide opportunities for the public to pay school fees electronically; either using money from their bank accounts or mobile money wallet.

Ghana has made steady progress in its electronic payment infrastructure since 2007, introducing a number of electronic payment channels. Mr. Hesse argued that the current payment infrastructure creates opportunities for Fintech companies to device various solutions to address the public’s needs. He is particularly interested in seeing an end to the incidence of parents and students queuing-up at banking halls to pay school fees, when they can perform the same transaction from their mobile phones and computers.

The country has a burgeoning Fintech industry providing various technology-enabled financial solutions. In addition to the work being done, the GhIPSS CEO wants the Fintechs to address the school fees paying challenge as well.

He explained that payment remains a gap in the online admission processes of many schools. “A number of tertiary, secondary and even basic schools now allow their students to process admissions online; but the beauty of the great idea is defeated when payments must be physically made at bank branches. The Fintechs must get in there and close that gap.

Mr. Hesse said Ghana has some fantastic Fintech companies and hopes that some of them will develop and popularise suitable solutions, so that paying school fees electronically becomes the norm. He argued that once the school fees aspect is addressed, it will snowball to other everyday payments that are done manually.
He urged heads of educational institutions to engage the services of Fintechs, and together with their bankers find electronic payment solutions to address the challenge.

The GhIPSS CEO noted that electronic payment of fees, levies, taxes, fines and other such payments enhances transparency, provides an audit trail, reduces cost and provides better customer service. He explained that electronic payment is a great business proposition that not only save money for the institutions which use it, but should also be seen as a tool for better customer service.

Source: thebftonline.com

Companies battling with customer defaults may want to resort to ACH Direct Debit in order to reduce the incidence of defaults. This is because Direct Debit ensures automatic transfer of funds from the bank account of the customer to that of the company or service provider. Payment default is a major challenge for many companies, especially utility service providers, mortgage companies and lenders in general. It also affects expected inflows for insurance premiums, subscriptions and other recurring payments. While many companies have not found a way out, compelling them to sometimes use brute force, ACH Direct Debit could just provide some solution.

ACH Direct Debit is a simple, secure and reliable service that enables individuals, large and small organisations collect funds from bank accounts of their customers. All that is required is for the company to opt for Direct Debit as one of the payment channels for customers.

The company can then ask its customers to sign a mandate that will permit the company to authorize its bank to collect an agreed amount from the bank account of the customer on an agreed date. Once the customer signs the mandate, he or she will only need to ensure that the account is funded such that the deductions and transfers can be effected. With Direct Debit, once the agreed time is due, money will be automatically deducted from the account of the customer and paid to the account of the company electronically.

Direct Debit has been effective in many advanced countries and companies in Ghana could adopt it to ensure efficiency in collection of payments. In Ghana, ACH Direct Debit was introduced by Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) but offered through the banks. Its CEO, Archie Hesse, admitted in an interview that many companies abroad have used it to improve on their collections. He therefore entreated companies here to also use it to improve their revenue mobilization. Direct Debit is mostly suitable for paying mortgages, utility bills, insurance premiums, loan re-payments, rent, and subscription-based service payments.

Mr. Hesse said once companies take time to explain the workings of Direct Debit, he was certain that many will buy into it and sign the mandate for the recurring deductions. He stated that using Direct Debit for payment was beneficial to both the company and the customer. It creates convenience for the customers and also allows them to plan and schedule their payments. The GhIPSS CEO also explained that companies which adopt Direct Debit normally enjoy excellent cash flow benefits from receiving regular payments. They also have low cost of administration compared with requesting consumer-initiated payments. Direct Debit also provides better accounting efficiency compared to post-dated cheques or walk-in cash payments.

MMI 02Cross network mobile money transactions continue to rise on a monthly basis after mobile money interoperability was introduced in May, this year, reaching almost 800,000 at the end of August.

In its first month of operation, less than 100,000 transactions took place but increased to a little over 190,000 in June. There were 280,000 transactions in the month of August.

This was contained in a report on mobile money interoperability by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS). The continuous rise in the volume of cross network mobile money transactions shows the relevance of the mobile money interoperability to the public.

Before mobile money interoperability was introduced, transaction from one network to another through what was called the token system was about 90,000 transactions per month on the average. This shows that cross network transactions have gone up by over 200 percent compared to the token system.

The launch of mobile money interoperability made seamless transfer of funds from one mobile network to another possible. People can now send money to another person on a different mobile network from their own phones.

It has also become possible for people to transfer funds from their mobile money wallets to their bank accounts without physically going to a banking hall or using the platform of a Fintech.

Archie Hesse, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GhIPSS, said mobile money interoperability had deepened financial inclusion in Ghana. He said cross network mobile money transactions worth GH¢72 million were recorded between May and August.

Mr Hesse was optimistic the growth in volume would continue in subsequent months.

The mobile money interoperability also allows Fintechs and other financial institutions to come out with various products that will run on the system and create convenience for customers.

Also, micro credit and deposits schemes can be offered to the public since people can now make payments to mobile money wallets regardless of their networks.

Mr Hesse urged Fintechs to be innovative and take advantage of opportunities that mobile money interoperability offers.

A business desk report

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