Express ACH Direct Credit recorded a 51 percent growth in its volume of transactions in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2019, according to the first quarter product performance report by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS). Express ACH Direct Credit recorded a total of 286,516 transactions from January to March this year compared to 189,587 for the same period in 2019. This points to increasing public preference for payment systems that offer them faster access to their funds. ACH Direct Credit is an electronic form of transferring funds from one bank account to another. A regular Direct Credit transfer is effected between 24 and 48 hours, however, an express Direct Credit is effected the same day, once the request is made before 10 O’clock in the morning. The over 50 percent growth in Express ACH is significantly higher than the 12 percent growth that the regular ACH Direct Credit recorded during the first quarter of this year. It is also better than the 3 percent drop in the volume of cheque transactions. The growth in the volume of Express ACH Direct Credit follows a similar growth pattern in payment channels such as GhIPSS Instant Pay and Mobile Money, all of which offer faster access to transferred funds. The world is gravitating towards faster access to funds or real-time payments with many banks and FinTechs streamlining traditional banking services to build their business models around real-time payments. The Chief Executive of GhIPSS Archie Hesse suggested that changing lifestyle, technology and in particular the prevalence of smartphones are some of the reasons why the preference for faster or real-time payments keep rising. He explained that GhIPSS is in tune with the trend and will continue to develop payment solutions that meet what he described as “the instant economy”. GhIPSS earlier this year launched the universal QR code and the Proxy Pay, both of which are in line with faster and real-time payments. Mr Hesse hinted and many products have been lined up to add on to the existing list of real-time payment channels.