Robbery blues: Do more electronic transactions – GhIPSS boss

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) Archie Hesse, has called on the public to resort to more electronic forms of payment in order to reduce their exposure to being attacked by armed robbers.

His advice comes in the wake of reports of armed robbery attacks in which huge sums of cash were believed to have been stolen.

The latest was what happened in the Tema Industrial area attack which led to the death of an accountant of an Agro-businesses company who had redrawn Gh¢200,000 from a Zenith Bank branch.

Commenting on the issue, Mr. Hesse not only expressed his displeasure about the incidence but extended his sympathies to the victims of the robberies, however he added that it was time for Ghanaians to reducing cash transactions.

He explained that, several electronic payment channels exist in Ghana that can enable both organisations and individuals to make payments without using cash and pleaded with the public to turn to these non-cash forms of payments and reduce the tendencies to carry huge sums of money around.

In recent times, many people have lost money through robbery, fire, flood and other disasters because of preference for cash but Mr. Hesse pointed out that, we could avoid all these inconvenience, if people kept their monies at the bank and accessed them through electronic payment channels to pay for transactions.

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“Today, your money at the bank is as good as cash on you” he stressed.

Mr. Hesse advised organisations to use payment options such as cheques, Automated Clearing House (ACH) Direct Debit or Direct Credit, internet and mobile banking to receive or make payments and added that, in situations where the organisation wants the money instantly transferred, they can set up and use the e-bills pay or mobile money for smaller values.

The GhIPSS CEO noted that cheques can be cleared the same day, through the express service and was, therefore, another important non-cash form of payment for both organisations and individuals.

“There are variety of electronic payments channels working efficiently in Ghana that organisations and individuals can access through the financial institutions” he emphasised.

The GhIPSS boss said his outfit will continue to ensure the efficient running of the platforms supporting these electronic payments options and urged the banks to ensure that these services are offered seamlessly to boost public confidence in them stating that, “technology is an enabler, it is there to solve problems, so let use it to address our exposure to robberies.”

Mr. Hesse hinted that GhIPSS together with financial institutions will heighten the cash-lite campaign and invited the media to support the agenda by creating platforms to educate the public on the benefits of electronic payments and dangers and cost associated with carry cash.

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