The public is being advised to use payment options that reduces their contact with persons in order to reduce exposure to the corona virus. The need to use contactless forms of payment has become necessary following the report of 6 confirmed corona virus cases in Ghana.
Many people rely heavily on cash for payment but that will not be the best option in this era of the pandemic, as it increases contact and the currency notes could also serve as carriers. The use of mobile money for payment and other electronic payment options such as internet banking, mobile banking applications as well as others such as Automated Clearing House (ACH) are preferred channels of payment in the wake of the pandemic.
Speaking in an interview in Accra, the Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse urged the people who have not signed up for electronic payment channels such as internet banking and mobile banking applications to do so in order to use them. He also advised those who have already sign on to these electronic forms of payments to use them and reduce their use of cash.
“Even for the very basic transactions at market places, before you make any payment, ask if the person can receive mobile money, so that you pay with mobile money instead of cash”, Mr. Hesse emphasised. Mr. Hesse advised traders, shop owners and all merchants to accept mobile money and other contactless electronic forms of payments. “It is very important that those who sell to us must now prefer mobile money and other mobile payment options. Those who can, should even encourage their customers to pay them using internet banking. We have these contactless payment channels, let’s use them and save our own lives”, the GhIPSS Boss admonished.The GhIPSS CEO also advised corporate organisations to turn to ACH and other electronic forms of payment instead of cheques, since cheque increases chances of contact.
He commended banks who have sent out messages to their customers encouraging them to use electronic payment channels, saying that it was a step in the right direction. GhIPSS is in the process of rolling out QR codes, though this payment channel will require the physical presence of the customer, it none the less allow for the needed social distance, as the customer will only need to scan the displayed QR code, or dial the merchant’s code for those with feature phones. The world is reeling under the corona virus pandemic, and every effort to prevent its spread including payment, should be avoided, Mr. Hesse added.