The public is being encouraged to turn heavily to electronic payment channels and avoid commuting through heavy traffic during the yuletide. Traffic has begun mounting in major cities and towns as people shop for the yuletide. The situation makes commuting through town very frustrating and time-wasting.
However, the Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse, said such movements can be avoided if people use electronic options for their financial transactions.
Since 2007 when GhIPSS was established, various electronic payment channels have been developed which enable the banking public to undertake financial transactions from the comfort of their homes and offices, using their phones, computers and bank cards.
Speaking in an interview, Mr. Hesse said there is no point moving from one point of town to another to perform a banking transaction. He encouraged the public to find out from their respective banks how they can access the various electronic payment channels, which he explained are very easy to use. “The workload for many at this time of the year is a lot, and so there is no point taking time off to step out to make payment when you can just do that on your phone or PC,” he added.
He explained that as a result of the various payment platforms’ interoperability, people can now use their phones to move money from their bank account to their mobile money wallet. They also have the option of using their phones to move money from their bank account to the account of another person. The public can also move money from their e-zwich card to their mobile money wallet and vice versa. This, he explained, implies that no one really needs to go to a banking hall or even an ATM in order to pay another person.
The GhIPSS CEO added that corporate organisations also have several electronic payment channels and do not need to always issue cheques to effect or receive payment. He mentioned the Automated Clearing House Direct Credit and Direct Debit as options available to them. He said in cases of urgency they can turn to the express option or use the GhIPSS Instant Pay, which are services most of the banks offer.
The major utility service providers currently accept mobile money and other electronic forms of payment. Mr. Hesse wants the public to take advantage of this and pay their bills electronically instead of going all the way to their offices to queue up just to pay bills. “Nobody needs to go to ECG or Ghana Water Company to pay bills; just pay from your phone and save yourself all the trouble,” he stressed.
Mr. Hesse said as the traffic situation gets worse, it will be an inefficient use of time and resources for companies or individuals to be moving through town to make payments when such payments can be made electronically. He said GhIPSS will intensify its education on electronic payments during the yuletide, so that the public will turn to the more convenient and efficient forms of payments.