The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlements Systems (GhIPSS), Mr. Archie Hesse, has outdoored some products to be introduced in aid of achieving a cashlite economy in the country.
The products include the GhQR, the Request to Pay (RTP), GIP Online Payment Gateway, Gh-link rollout, Hybrid POS rollout, ACH Direct Credit, and the Proxypay.
According to him, the financial services industry is set to experience a significant transformation that will serve as a solution to the demand for seamless payment experiences wherein mobile payments are positioned to be the major payments trend.
He said: “As the national payment system infrastructure provider, we are committed to the development of efficient and secure electronic payment platforms in partnership with all players in the industry”.
In line with Global trends, electronic payments in Ghana are gravitating toward mobile payment options – especially with the introduction of the real-time and digital financial services. According to him, most organisations are also beginning to appreciate the security and convenience that comes with the use of electronic funds transfer services like ACH Direct Credit.
Giving an overview of the company’s 2019 performance, the CEO said key highlights of 2019 include Systems upgrade, partnership with Verve and etranzact, launch of the gh-dual-card, and passage of the payment systems and services Act, 2019.
He noted that GhIPSS processed a total number of 38 million inter-bank transactions in 2019, representing a 42% increase over 2018 when 26 million transactions were processed.
“The 2019 performance was driven by the growth in use of the GhIPSS instant pay service to move funds from bank accounts into mobile money wallets, which grew by 1244% when compared to 2018 volumes. Similarly, transactions between mobile Money platform – that is, the mobile money interoperability and services on the ezwich platforms – also contributed to the growth in transaction volumes, with 317 percent and 323 percent increase respectively”, said Mr. Hesse.
He revealed that even though transaction volumes increased, the value of those transactions dipped by 8 percent from GH¢240billion in 2018 to GH¢220billion in 2019. The decline, according to him, was as a result of the reduction in value of interbank cheques that were cleared over the period.
“While the value of cheques processed in 2018 was GH¢149billion for the same period in 2019, total value of interbank cheques processed was GH¢124billion – representing a decline of 16%. This decline was the result of reductions in value of interbank cheques issued by large corporates, which formed the majority of customers issuing cheques for business transactions,” Mr. Hesse revealed.
Touching on the performance of ezwich, Mr. Hesse said the growth in transaction volumes for the ezwhich services can be attributed to use of the GhIPSS platform by government for paying beneficiaries of most of its social intervention programmes, adding that in 2019 the number of beneficiaries on the LEAP Programme paid via ezwich increased from 213,000 households in 2018 to 323,000.
He further stated that the Mobile Money interoperability platform recorded a total of 9 million transactions, while the instant pay services recorded a total of 1 million transactions.
Explaining functions of the new products to be introduced in 2020, Mr. Archie Hesse said Ghana’s interoperable QR code solution provides a standardised specification for interoperable payments across the country. The solution provides a centralised switching service at GhIPSS for QR code payments by all participants, allowing customers of financial institutions, fintechs, mobile money operators to either receive or make payments by scanning a quick response code on their smartphones.
The ACH Direct Credit NRT (Near Real Time) will serve as a bulk payment option that allows banks to credit customers’ accounts within minutes of receiving funds. The proxy pay service is an overlay service on the GhIPSS instant pay service. The Request to Pay (RTP) is a bill payment service that enables a service provider to request payment for goods purchased or services consumed by a customer.
GIP Online Payment Gateway service is a payment acceptance solution for online businesses that allows customers to pay for goods and services directly from their bank accounts without the use of a card or physical cash.
Mr. Archie Hesse said the company is ready to embrace new collaborations with fintech startups whose mandate is extending financial inclusion to the unbanked population.
“In line with this agenda, GhIPSS in 2020 will continue partnering industry players to intensify public education so as to increase the usage of electronic payment services in Ghana. The future of digital payment is bright, and Ghana is set to play a unique role,” he concluded.