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The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has confirmed that the challenges that customers of MTN are having with sending money from the network to others has to do with capacity issues which all stakeholders involved are working on to resolve.

This follows several complaints by customers of MTN over persistent challenges with the network for the past few months, which have prevented them from sending money to their friends, family and acquaintances on other networks.

However in an interview with Citi Business News, the Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse assured that his outfit is working to resolve the issue.


“I would like to concur with MTN’s Eli Hene that the current situation is not a sabotage on MTN’s part. Since inception the system has been running perfectly well, however we realized that in the last month there have been a number of failures in some of the transactions emanating mainly from MTN. We’ve since started working with MTN and the other telecommunication companies to try and find out what exactly the problem is. What we have found out is that there are some minor capacity challenges which we working on,” Mr. Hesse said.


The mobile money interoperability, which is in its first year of implementation, is to allow seamless transfer of cash from one network to another.


It is also in line with the government’s digitization agenda to promote a cashlite economy.


Mr. Hesse indicated that a more permanent solution will be implemented to avert any further issues on the mobile money interoperability platform for the next five years.


This he said should be rolled out latest by June this year.“In order to eliminate some of the capacity constraints, over the weekend the telecommunication companies all got separate web services to ensure they all have their independent services. The network team is also doing its job with the network capacity et cetera. By May thereabout we will be migrating to our Power Nine system which will give us enough capacity for the next 5 years.”


Responding to concerns by MTN customers on the Citi Breakfast Show on April 15, 2019, the General Manager for Mobile Money Services at MTN, Eli Hini said they are focused on making the interoperability platform more convenient for their customers.


“We have not done anything on our side to make customers life uncomfortable. And we’ll never do that. Because we believe that the service helps customers enjoy our platform better, and we’ll continue to work to make the platform very convenient for our customers.”

The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) is to step up public education on quicker electronic payment channels to deepen awareness, especially among the unbanked.
Mr Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive of GhIPSS, said increased awareness on the quicker forms of payment would encourage the unbanked to open accounts with  banks. “When the unbanked get to know that they can receive or make payment instantly or within the same day with funds lodged at the banks, it could motivate them to open accounts with the banks,” he said.
According to GhIPSS' first quarter Industry Performance patronage for Instant Pay, and express Direct Credit, the two electronic payment channels that enable the banking public to have quicker use of their funds, was on the rise. Instant Pay (GIP) recorded a growth in volume of about 423.9 percent from 24,227 in the first quarter of 2018 to 126,925 transactions.
Express Direct Credit also recorded a growth of 16.5 percent from 162,774 for the first quarter of 2018 to 189,587 transactions for the same period this year.

The 16.5 percent growth is significantly higher than the 4.2 percent growth that regular Direct Credit recorded over the same period.

Mr. Hesse encouraged banks to also intensify public education on these electronic payment options since it could win them customers.
Instant Pay is an electronic payment system that enables a customer to transfer money from one bank account to another of a different bank and the transfer is effected instantly.
Express Direct Credit, on the other hand, enables customers to make or receive payment through their account electronically on the same day through Direct Credit.

Instant Pay and express Direct Credit were introduced to give individuals and organisations the option to make or receive payment quicker than the regular channel.  It is also intended to give the public the confidence that their monies at the banks can be accessed and used for urgent payments, without even stepping into the banking halls.



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.


There is a gradual shift in preference for Direct Credit while patronage for cheques is on the decline, a report from the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) has shown. The first quarter industry performance for electronic payments compiled by the GhIPSS shows a marginal decline in the use of cheques.


It said although cheques remained the most used non-cash form of payment, the volume of transactions for the first quarter of 2019, dropped compared to the same period last year. On the other hand, the volume of Direct Credit transactions for the first quarter of 2019 was marginally higher than the volume for the same period in 2018.Patronage for Direct Credit went up by about 4.2 percent to 1.47 million transactions but that of cheques dropped by 7.4 percent to 1.55 million transactions.

Experts attribute the continuous growth in patronage for Direct Credit to the fact that its usage is less cumbersome compared to cheques. Also, a growing number of organisations have shifted to Direct Credit for payment of salaries and other emoluments because it is quicker and easier to use in making bulk payments.


Mr. Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive of GhIPSS, said globally, Direct Credit was preferred to cheque because of the obvious advantages it has over cheques. He, therefore, encouraged organisations as well as individuals to turn to Direct Credit for their payments. Mr. Hesse, however, added that Direct Credit was more useful for bulk payments.


Direct Credit, which is one of the two forms of Automated Clearing House (ACH), is a simple, secured and reliable service, which enables individuals, large 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 intended recipients to receive their funds on time. Direct Credit is used for payment of salaries, pensions, welfare benefits, commissions, supplier payments, dividend and refunds among others. It is also suitable for interest payments, government payments, as well as business-to-business payments.


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

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