Government’s drive to digitise the economy will be effectively complemented by the various payment initiatives the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has rolled out. This will ensure that the country derives the full benefit of a digital economy.
GhIPSS, since 2007 has been deploying a number of electronic payment channels, which addresses the payment aspect of a digital economic agenda.
A number of initiatives are being taken by the government, including going paperless at the country’s port, and planning a similar programme with the health system among several other sectors. A digital address and a national identification system have also been launched. These various initiatives will ensure that technology is utilised to facilitate various activities, which will also bring about convenience and efficiency in the way things are done in the country.
Speaking in an interview, Mr. Archie Hesse, Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS said a lot is being done to align the various payment initiatives such that the public can have the full complement of an electronic system, where they can complete documents and make payment online. He gave the hint that one such efforts will be up and running soon.
Experts say the cost and time spent undertaking basic business-related transactions such as registration, payment of duties, levies and fees is impacting adversely on the Ghanaian business climate. However, this situation could change drastically when the various digitisation programmes are completed.
Presently, all banks are connected to the national payment system managed by GhIPSS making interbank transactions almost seamless. With the introduction of the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP) and other electronic payment options, it should not be too difficult in the near future, for members of the public to be able to pay government institutions electronically, without having to step a foot at the offices of such departments.
Mr. Hesse who agrees that Ghana has a robust payment system to support electronic payments of statutory fees, levies and taxes, said the move is the current focus of GhIPSS. He is hopeful GhIPSS will be able to support a number of organisations both public and private to be able to receive payments electronically. This, he explained falls within the mandate of GhIPSS to migrate Ghana into an electronic community.