Hesse: Gov’t interventions cause increase in e-payment transactions


The chief executive officer of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS), Archie Hesse, is confident the volume of the transaction on the electronic payment platform will record better growth this year.


This is because of the growth recorded in the various aspects of electronic payments in the country in 2019.


Speaking to journalists at an annual media engagement, Mr Hesse said that the GhIPSS 2019 summary report indicated that the total amount of transactions recorded on the e-zwich platform for 2019 rose to GHC10.7 million, from an initial record of GHC7.7 million in 2018.


The growth, which represents a 39 per cent increase over the preceding year’s performance, is attributed to the use of the platform by the government for the payment of beneficiaries of many social intervention programmes.


According to Mr Hesse, the increased number of beneficiaries on the LEAP programme and National Service Personnel, who paid through e-zwich, has contributed significantly to the growth for the digital platform in 2019.


“We are glad that the government has embraced the system and endorsed the various payment platforms we introduced, especially the e-zwich. When you look at the statistics, the performance of the e-zwich platform is basically as a result of government social intervention beneficiaries, including NaBcO, LEAP, school feeding etc. But we hope to improve upon it this year,” he said.




On the mobile money interoperability (MMI) platform, the CEO said that his outfit recorded a whopping 317 per cent growth in the volume of transactions and 267 per cent growth value of transactions between 2018 and 2019.


According to the report, the value of the transactions for 2019 was GHC781.6 million, compared to  GHS212.8 million in 2018, and the volume of transaction shot up massively from 2.2 million in 2018 to 9.4 million last year.


The totals for 2019 comprised wallet-to-wallet, wallet-to-bank, bank-to-wallet, wallet-to-e-zwich and e-zwich-to-wallet transactions.


Among these forms of transactions, the value of wallet-to-wallet topped with GHC618 million cash float from an equally huge 9.1 million wallet-to-wallet transactions.


Wallet-to-wallet transfers were followed by wallet-to-bank transactions, which recorded GHC162.7million in value and 253,500 in volume; then for bank-to-wallet, as many as 1.5 million transactions. But in terms of value, it was only GHC552, 500.




Meanwhile, the usage of cheques for payment also saw a meager one per cent growth in volume, but a 10 per cent drop in a value of transaction.


The figures show the number of cheques issued in 2018 was 14.7 million, and it grew to 14.9 million, but the value of cheque transactions in 2018 was GHC223.8 billion in 2018, and it dropped to GHC209.9 billion last year.


Mr Hesse said the figures show that corporate Ghana is still paying loads of money with cheques, rather than using the electronic platform. But the trend is downward and it shows that after a while GhIPSS will not have to spend money to improve its cheque clearinghouse technology.


2020 outlook


Speaking of new introductions for this year, he announced that management will introduce Proxy Pay. This allows organisations and individuals to pay money into others’ bank accounts by using the receiver’s phone number (for individuals) or name (for corporate) instead of a bank account.


In addition, ACH Direct Credit Near Real-Time version will be introduced. This will allow people to receive their money in real-time, even when offices have closed. Such transfers will hit receiver’s account approximately 15 minutes earlier than the current time it takes for cash to hit receivers’ accounts.


The CEO of GhIPSS said they will also introduce the GHQR code to make tap and pay even smoother, even in USSD; and also bring on the hybrid point of sale (POS) system, which will enable Fintech partners to both debit and credit customers’ account as it may apply.


Mr Hesse is confident that both banks and Fintech companies will key in on the various platforms to keep driving the country’s cashless society agenda.


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