GhIPSS makes u-turn on COVID-19 induced fees waiver

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  • set to charge fees on Instant Pay, MoMo interoperability & ACH Direct
  • waivers affecting GhIPSS’ sustainability
  • fees charge takes effect from May 23

The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) has said it is unable to continue waiving the fees it charged on services including Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI), GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP) and ACH Direct Credit.

In a statement, GhIPSS noted that even though it also waived the fees on these products in response to the Central Bank’s call to all players in the payment system to waive some fees for at least three months due to the impact of COVID-19, it was hoping that fees on products such as cheques and e-zwich would make up the difference but the opposite has been the situation.

“The sustainability of this gesture was premised on the assumption that inflows from our Cheque and e-zwich business would cushion the company of the period of the waivers. Conversely there was a significant reduction in the use of these two services: gravely impacting our bottomline.

Following a review of our financial position we have decided we are unable to sustain the fee waiver regime any further and will reinstate all transaction fees with effect from May 23, 2020,” the statement, signed by Archie Hesse, CEO of GhIPSS said.

COVID-19 actions in financial sector

On March 19, the Central Bank announced a raft of measures including the waiving of fees on some digital payment options including mobile money aimed at reducing cash transactions and boosting digital payments.

One of the key measures was that all mobile money users can send up to GH¢100 for free (excluding cash out). This includes sending to a recipient on the same network, or another network via the interoperability platform. Also, all mobile phone subscribers are now permitted to use their already existing mobile phone registration details to be on-boarded for Minimum KYC Account.

This led to GhIPSS, on March 23, 2020, announcing a waiver of transaction fees across three platforms namely: GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP), Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI), and ACH Direct Credit.

This action, GhIPSS noted, was in support of the call to the financial services industry by the Bank of Ghana to encourage and promote the use of electronic payment and also to lighten the financial burden on the vulnerable members of the public in the light of the global pandemic and the impending containment measures by the government of Ghana.

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