The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has urged the country’s financial institutions to work closely with the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) to vigorously promote the electronic channels of payments.
Speaking at the 10th anniversary celebration of GhIPSS, Dr Bawumia said while Ghana had a robust payment system that could take the world by storm, what was required is a holistic and joint effort of all stakeholders to shift behaviours towards electronic payment options.
“When we deepen the use of these payment platforms we as individuals will benefit from it, businesses will gain significantly and the economy as a whole will be better,” he said, adding that government’s vision was to move Ghana from a cash-based society towards an electronic payment based one.
He said Ghana over the past 10 years had seen tremendous transformation in the payment landscape in line with global trends.
He said GhIPSS had facilitated the fast clearance of cheques from the difficulties of the past where it used to take between seven and 10 days for cheques from the Northern sector to clear.
However, he said, despite the obvious transformation of the payment system, the patronage was not what the country would wish, adding that Ghanaians had been too slow in catching up with the financial inclusion agenda but said progress was being made.
He said achieving a total migration of payment behaviour in favour of electronics channels actually fitted into the government’s transformation agenda, which sets out to achieve the deepening of financial inclusion.
Dr Bawumia said it was in this direction that government had tasked GhIPSS to ensure that the entire financial system is interoperable to provide opportunities for users of the various payment platforms and to deepen financial inclusion, adding that government was glad to ensure that GhIPSS was on course in achieving that by November this year.
The Vice President said to further boost the financial inclusion agenda, government was also working to ensure that the country has a proper national identification system by migrating to a digital address system in place before the year ends.
“When this is achieved the financial sector would see a tremendous boost and transformation never seen before because our financial services would have an effective unique identifier for each person,” he said.
He said government would support any effort to make the public sector efficient, effective and devoid of corruption through making electronic payment a default for receiving taxes, payments at the entry points and in all transactions.
He expressed the hope that the next 10 years would ensure that Ghana moves to financial inclusion and that the population use the electronic payment platforms regularly.
Mr Millison Narh, First Deputy Governor Bank of Ghana, said Ghana’s payment landscape had seen major changes over the last 10 years to depeen financial inclusion.
Mr. Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, said the company had made major strides to promote the agenda of electronic payments since its establishment 10 years ago.
He said GhIPSS had been able to implement a number of interventions to bring convenience to users of financial products and to also promote financial inclusion for the majority of unbanked population.
Among GhIPSS product is e-zwich, the cheque clearing system which reduced the cheque clearing cycle from three to 10 days to Same-day or Next Day, the Direct Credit and Direct Debit system that is helping companies sort out bulk and repetitive payments.
GhIPSS will mark the anniversary on the theme,’10 Years of promoting electronic payments in Ghana’.
Source: The Ghanaian Times