Let’s approach cash-lite as a strategy against robbery -GhIPSS boss

Mr. Archie Hesse: GhQR and GhIPSS CEO pick laurels at GITTA
Mr. Archie Hesse

The Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Mr. Archie Hesse has said that the country must begin to look at the cash-lite agenda also as a strategy to combat robbery.

According to him, besides the convenience and efficiency that go with the use of electronic payments, the public should begin to also see it one of the solutions to make robbery less profitable.

Robbery has dominated the news in recent times and in most cases, the robbers had gotten away with huge sums of money besides the lives lost in some cases. This suggest that many people continue to heavily rely on cash for transactions when there are several electronic payment options.

The Chief Executive of GhIPSS in an interview noted that reports of robberies are troubling, adding that it was about time, the public realized that the use of electronic payment channels could make robbery less profitable and eventually discourage the miscreants from embarking on such ventures.

Mr. Hesse explained that so long as robbers get huge sums of money when they rob, they will always be motivated to carry out the practice over and over again. “Imagine robbers don’t get beyond hundreds of cedis when they embark on their nefarious operations, there will be less motivation, knowing they might end up with no booty. And we can achieve this if we pay electronically most of the time”.

Ghana since 2007 has embarked on an aggressive modernization of the payment systems and as a result many electronic payment channels have been introduced. Payments can be made from one bank account to another of a different bank, remotely using internet banking or mobile banking platforms and the funds will be transferred immediately.

Batched and bulk payments can also be made across banks accounts and the funds received in less than 15 minutes using the ACH Near Real Time. In terms of paying for goods and services in shops and other outlets, payment channels such as mobile money, bank cards, GhQR, and other Fin Tech payment platforms exist.  Cheques can also be used to make payments, since they clear faster in recent times.

Volumes and values of electronic payment transactions as captured by GhIPSS show consistent rise, indicating increased usage but it appears several other people are still not taking advantage these technologies enabled secured payment channels.

Mr. Hesse said GhIPSS will rally other stakeholders to intensify the education on patronizing electronic payment channels and include security and safety as key communication objectives. He is worried that as the festive season approaches, more criminal minded persons will be attacking various outlets hoping to rob them off huge sums of money. He therefore called for a comprehensive public education to draw people’s attention to the fact that using more electronic payment options will help reduce the incidence of robbery.

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