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The Chief Executive Office of GhIPSS, Mr. Archie Hesse has been awarded Man of the Year- Technology at the 2019 Exclusive Men of the Year (EMY) awards, 2019.

Mr. Hesse was honoured for his contributions to the development of Ghana's Electronic Payment landscape.
  

Archie Hesse, joined GhIPSS in 2007 as a General Manager in charge of Projects & Business Development.  Whilst in that role, he spearheaded the implementation of a National Biometric Smart Card Banking and Payment System – e-zwich, the Cheque Codeline Clearing (CCC) System, the Ghana Automated Clearing House (GACH) Systems for direct debit and direct credit, and the National Switching and Processing System – gh-link until his appointment as CEO in July 2012.     

Under his leadership, GhIPSS introduced many reforms that have helped Ghana achieve “Universal Interoperability” with the completion of the mobile money interoperability Phase 1 & 2.This achievement contributes to increasing electronic transactions in the Ghanaian economy, increasing efficiency in payments, and improving financial inclusion by bridging the gap between the banked and the unbanked.

The MAN OF THE  YEAR TECHNOLOGY AWARD recognizes a man – scientist, innovator or tech entrepreneur – who has successfully applied technology in the areas of human comfort and development, such as business, communication and health.

About EMY Awards


The EMY Africa Awards is a Father’s Day related event that celebrates distinguished gentlemen in diverse fields to inspire greatness in the younger generation. It also gives complementary awards to women who have made an impact in society. West Africa’s biggest award event has previous winners such as former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, Sir Sam Jonah (Chairman, Jonah Capital), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom (Chairman, Groupe Nduom), Dr Kwabena Duffour (Chairman, HODA Group), Mr Tony Elumelu (Chairman, United Bank Africa), Abedi Pele (world renowned footballer), Azumah Nelson (world renowned boxer), Adebola Williams (Communications Expert from Nigeria) to name but a few distinguished personalities.

 

The Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) platform recorded more than 4.4 million transactions in its first year of operation.

Beginning with just 96,907 transactions in its first month, public usage of the cross-network platform grew phenomenally to 422,275 transactions in December last year and 502,873 transactions in May this year.

MMI or seamless cross mobile money network transactions became possible in May last year, following a challenge thrown to the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS), the telcos and financial institutions by Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

The Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse in an interview described the MMI initiative as successful. He said it has provided a very efficient way of funds transfer for many people, opening up the mobile money payment platform and enabling people and businesses to use it in different ways.

Before MMI came into being, cross-network transactions through the ‘token’ system were hovering around 90,000 transactions per month. Individuals, therefore, could not directly transfer funds to another wallet of a different network. But that cumbersome process and the inconvenience ended a year ago.

Mr Hesse said the increased acceptance of mobile money by shop owners and service providers was largely because payments could now be made seamlessly across networks.He added that the linkage of the MMI platform to the e-zwich and bank accounts had further opened up the payment system and encouraged many more initiatives.

Mr Hesse expressed the hope that with the passage of the Payment Systems and Services bill into an Act, a lot of products and services will be developed, which would further boost the usage of the MMI platform.He said GhIPSS was equally working on some initiatives that would make the use of mobile money for payments easier and quicker.

 

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.

 
 
GNA

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.”

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.

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