Officials of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement and Systems (GhIPSS) have held a one-day engagement with finance directors of major companies to explain the workings and benefits of GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP). The move is part of efforts to increase public awareness about GIP.
GIP is a real-time interbank payment platform that enables money to be transferred immediately from one bank account to another. It serves as a payment platform for companies and individuals who need to make instant payments without needing to move physically to the recipient.
Currently, over 80 percent of banks – mainly the major ones – have integrated their systems with the GIP platform. The instant pay service is offered through different channels. Most of the banks offer GIP through their Internet banking platform, mobile Apps, as well as automated teller machines (ATMs). GIP can also be offered through Point of Sales devices. A number of Fintech companies as well as savings and loans companies have also integrated with the GIP and are offering instant pay services to their clients. ARB Apex Bank, on the other hand, is in the process of integrating with GIP – which will pave way for rural and community banks to also offer GIP services.
Speaking to participants, the General Manager, Business Development at GhIPSS-Clara Arthur, touched on the benefits of GIP – especially for companies which want their clients to make payments to them instantly. She explained that GIP is as good as cash but more secure.
The finance directors at the engagement admitted that cheques continue to be the dominant modes of payment, but said they encounter a number of challenges using them: including dishonoured cheques, delays in confirming payments, and double-debiting of accounts. Responding to their concerns, the Head of Digitised Payments at GhIPSS, Akosua Blay, said the challenges they face give reasons for them to explore other payment channels, such as GIP. She said though electronic clearing of cheques is one of GhIPSS’ products, GIP is being promoted as a better alternative for fast payments – stressing that “We need to migrate customers away from cheques”.
Officials of some banks were also invited to the programme to explain how GIP is offered to their customers. They demonstrated a live transfer of funds through GIP and explained how useful it is to the operations of companies. They also urged the companies to use GIP as well as encourage their customers to also use it, because it is convenient and instant.
GhIPSS intends to engage with other stakeholders to drive home the importance and benefits of GIP.