Real-time interbank transfer volumes up by 244%

More and more customers of banks are exercising the option of using Instant Pay to transfer funds or make payments from their bank account to another account with a different bank. The Instant Pay, as the name suggests, makes such interbank transfers and payments instantly – such that immediately the money is transferred, the recipient can access and use it.

Instant Pay is currently the fastest way to transfer funds or make payment from one bank account to another of a different bank, and it was introduced to create convenience for bank customers and facilitate quick payment.

Since its introduction a little over two years ago, patronage has been going up significantly. Last year the volume of Instant Pay transactions went up by 244 percent over the 2017 figure, according to an end of year report released by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS). In its first year of operation in 2016, only 184 Instant Pay transactions took place. This was largely because the service was introduced in the latter part of that year. However, patronage rapidly grew to 41,795 transactions in 2017 and further up to 143,879 transactions in 2018.

Instant Pay service is offered by banks, and currently most of the major banks provide the service. While some banks offer the Instant Pay service through their Internet banking portals, others do it through their mobile banking portal. Some of the banks, however, offer the Instant Pay service on both the mobile banking and Internet banking portals. GhIPSS Instant Pay is the generic name, but various banks call it by different names.

The introduction of Instant Pay service is greatly enhancing business transactions, as businesses are able to make and receive payments instantly through their bank accounts to support the quick turnaround of their goods.

Speaking during an interaction with journalists in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, said payments globally are gravitating toward instant payment. He explained that because the service can be accessed electronically, it creates convenience for customers as they can perform instant payment transactions from their bank account without moving an inch.

While volume of transactions grew by 244 percent in 2018, the growth in value of transactions was much higher at 542 percent. The more than proportionate growth in value compared to the volume suggests that the payment system is trusted by customers; and they are therefore using it for higher value transactions, Mr. Hesse explained. He noted that Instant Pay is an important service that ensures quick, convenient but secured movement of funds in the economy.

Mr. Hesse urged the public to continue keeping their money within the banking system, because it can now be easily and quickly moved around to address their business needs.

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