The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has given banks another four months to create synergies to put in place electronic solutions that will help drive down cash-base transactions in favor of a cash-lite society.
The extension of the deadline from August to December, this year, is to give the banks more time to properly collaborate in developing products and services that will make it possible for them to implement the Inter-Bank Instant Pay system, needed to help promote a society where electronic payment systems are fancied over physical cash.
The initiative is to help give more emphases to the Instant Pay solution, an innovation by the Ghana Inter Bank Payment and Settlement Systems’ (GHIPSS) aimed at migrating transactions into electronic form.
Currently, only nine out of the 26 banks are able to send and receive money on the platform.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GHIPSS, Mr Archie Hesse, said the extension of the deadline followed the inability of the banks to live-up to the BoG’s dictates, which required that they create proper synergies for the increased promotion and usage of electronic payment systems.
This, he said prompted the central bank to extend the period by the additional four months.
“Our wish is that at least every bank must, as a minimum, be able to receive. So, I might not be able to effect Instant Pay transactions but I must be, at least, be able to receive it,” he said, in reference to the need for collaboration among the banks.
“In terms of being able to receive, I believe about nine banks are ready,” he explained.
For banks that enabled the feature, their customers can send and receive money using the platform. Among other things, mobile phones could be used to link customer accounts, making it possible for them to transact with these devices.
“These are channels that are available but it will not happen overnight. We believe that it is in the right direction and we believe that by December, most of the banks would have enabled themselves to be able to send and receive.
“If that happens, then what will be left is to develop products around it,”
GhIPSS, is responsible for management of payment systems in the country, introduced the likes of the e-zwich, Cheque Codeline Clearing system (CCC), Automated Clearing House system (GACH) and the National Switching and Pressing system (Gh-link) to help drive home its agenda of a cash-lite society.
Beyond easing the challenges of transacting with cash, GhIPPS’ initiatives have helped to raise patronage for the products of businesses.
He mentioned improved cash flow, the creation of a competitive advantage for businesses and a friendly customer environment as some of the benefits businesses will be expected to reap.
Going forward, Mr Hesse said his outfit will continue to push for better payment system, which is a prerequisite to sound economic development.