e-bills pay can help reduce corruption at public institutions

The use of e-bills pay in public institutions can reduce the human interface and help bring down corruption. E-bills pay is an electronic payment system that enables large corporate institutions to receive payment via the internet or mobile applications. It is one of the latest initiatives by Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), the national payment infrastructure provider.

The e-bills pay is fashioned on the back of the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP), and enables payments to be made and received immediately. The payment is made through banks which have hooked their systems onto the GIP platform. However, the receiving organisation must be set up to operate the system.

The e-bills pay can be used by both private and public organisations. It is considered very suitable for manufacturing companies which deal with many wholesalers and retailers. It can also be used by airlines and big hotels to receive payments from customers, and is also suitable for public sector institutions which receive taxes, levies and fees.

The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, has indicated that a number of organisations are setting up to use the e-bills pay. He explained that it will greatly make their payments more efficient and easy to account for.

Beyond improving on efficiencies within organisations, the public being able to make payments electronically to public institutions implies that the human interface will be significantly reduced. This could remove some of the opportunities for various forms of corruption. It could also reduce instances of pilfering and thievery, as payment will not pass through a cashier but go straight to the bank account of the institution.

While admitting that e-bills pay could play a role in reducing corruption, its efficiency and audit trail – as well as the fact that the institutions will get their money the very moment it is paid, are the motivation for encouraging the institutions to adopt it, according to Mr. Hesse. He however said that there are several other uses and benefits that can be derived, and urged institutions to reach out to their banks or GhIPSS to be set up to receive payments through the e-bills pay system.

The global financial system is fast-moving toward instant pay, because it facilitates quick turnaround time for businesses. The introduction of GIP and now the e-bills pay therefore firmly places Ghana within the league of nations with modernised payments.