The Ghana Shippers Authority(GSA) has called for a speedy implementation of electronic payment system at the ports to enhance business activities.
Even though an initiative is being rolled out by the Ghana Revenue Authority in collaboration with the West Blue Consult, the project is being rolled out in phases.
Speaking to Citi Business News at the launch of the Ecobank Cash Xpress Pay Card of the Ghana National Single Window(GNSW) project, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority Kofi Mbia stated that it is imperative to achieve a full electronic payment system in the short term to meet global standards.
“You realize that while there is an effort to introduce the electronics in to the system we are still doing part electronics part manual, and sometimes it is even more difficult to have part electronics systems with a part manual system,” he said.
He was however optimistic the implementation of the project in phases is a necessary in migrating the system into an electronic.
Touching on the dangers of carrying bulk cash, Mr. Mbia maintained that all over the world, the practice is being discouraged to protect shippers.
He pointed out some companies go the extra mile to get security which brings additional cost to them.
“We have no option done to follow the move onto the electronic system for various reasons. As I said if you have to go and take cash, its bulky sometimes, the risks involved, you have to get security for it and then even when payment are made at central location when they are taking the monies from these places they themselves have to get security to move the cargo in to security vans etc,” he said
“We can avoid all of that once we make electronic payment, and for me I think this is the way to go for the future,” he said.
Launch of Cash Xpress Card
Government launched the Ghana National Single Window(GNSW) Cash Xpress Card to help pay Customs Duty on the Ghana Trading Hub portal.
The card which was designed by Ecobank is also directed at removing cumbersome procedures at the ports to facilitate payment to the Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA).
Terkper applauds move
Speaking to Citi Business News after the launch, Finance Minister Seth Terkper explained that the initiative will reduce the cost of doing business, while it improves government’s revenue.
“First of all, its part of our cashless society effort, secondly we are bringing in more people, it’s part of the financial inclusion agenda, and then thirdly it mobilizes, it helps the banks mobilize resources as part of the financial inclusion agenda,” he said.
Mr. Terkper stated that the card will greatly reduce bottlenecks in the payment systems as well as improve the revenue that comes into the Consolidated Fund for development.
Enumerating how it will reduce time spent in making transactions, Mr. Terkper explained that exporters and importers will no longer be required to go into a banking hall to make payments or make withdrawal.
“ It reduces the cost of doing business as you mobilize resources more quickly. The inconvenience of going to a bank, withdrawing money going to make a payment and taking back, the card substitutes for all of these,” he said.
He stated that the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana have designed more initiatives aimed at reducing human interaction in Ghana’s payment system to encourage E-commerce.
“So as a Ministry together with the central bank, we have been launching improvement to the payment systems in the country, we spearheading the E-payment systems in government and I think this is a very good example of how the cost of doing business as far as government is concerned can go down,” he said.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana