The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS) has introduced an instant payment system called “the Instant Pay” to quicken the payment of a third party through the banking system.
The Instant pay Citi Business News understands allows account holders in banks to transfer money from their bank accounts to be credited to the receiver instantly in the same bank or another in real time.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the new system, the Chief Executive Officer of GHIPSS, Archie Hesse explained the instant pay is another way of moving Ghana from a cash economy to a cashlite one.
Adding that the move will also reduce the turnaround time spent at the banks.
“The instant pay comes handy for business people or individuals who must make instant payments from their accounts without having to go and withdraw cash and pay physically into the recipient’s account. Until the introduction of the GhIPSS Instant Pay, the shortest possible time for an interbank transfer was between 3-4 hours under express services. Standard interbank transfers however took between 24-72 hours.”
Mr. Hesse also indicated that not all banks have been integrated to offer the services at the moment.
He however explained that the remaining banks are at various stages of completion and should be able to also offer the service soon.
Currently, banks that can offer the instant pay service include; Zenith Bank, Capital Bank, UBA, Cal Bank, The Royal Bank and Energy Bank.
The others are the Agriculture Development Bank, UMB and Standard Chartered Bank.
The transfer system has been possible largely because of the national electronic platform that interconnects all the banks in the country, which is the core function of GhIPSS set up by the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
Currently, transfers from one bank account to the other take not less than three hours even under express transactions through a system known as Direct Credit under the Automated Clearing House (ACH) and 24 hours if it is not under express transaction, which is also another initiative by GhIPSS.
GhIPSS last year met banks in the country to discuss potential inter-bank electronic payment services that could be developed.
The instant payment stood out as the preferred product by the bankers in that meeting.
Ghana has a huge unbanked population and many have argued that most people are keeping their monies outside the banking system because of the delays associated with banking.
By: Norvan Acquah – Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana