The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems, GhIPSS, says even though the use of cheques among individuals has decreased, the number cash cheques cleared by companies keep increasing.
According to GhIPSS, the value of cash cleared through cheques went up significantly in 2019 reaching over 207 billion cedis.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the CEO of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, explained that the reason for the reduction in the use of cheques among individuals is due to the introduction of the mobile money platform and the E-Zwich system.
“If you look at the cheques you will be surprised to see 207 billion cedis. This shows that corporate Ghana still prefers cheques even though on the individual basis the mobile money interoperability platform increased both in value and volume,” he explained.
Mr. Hesse stated that corporate entities preferred cheques because of the volume of transactions that occurred on the platform was in billions of cedis.
He however pointed out that it is a good development that individuals are resorting more to mobile money transactions to pay for goods and services.
Payment system performance in 2019
According to GhIPSS, a total number of 38 million interbank transactions were processed in 2019, representing a 42% increase over 2018 where 26 million transactions were processed.
The 2019 performance was driven by the growth in the use of the GhIPSS Instant Pay service to move funds from bank accounts into mobile money wallets, which grew by 1244% when compared to 2018 volumes.
Similarly, transactions between mobile money platforms (mobile money interoperability) and services on the e-zwich platform also contributed to the growth in transaction volumes with 317% and 323% increase respectively.
Even though transaction volumes increased, the value of these transactions dipped by 8% from GHC 240 billion in 2018, to GHC 220 billion to 2019.
This decline was as a result of the reduction in the value of interbank cheques that were cleared over the period.
While the value of cheques processed in 2018 was GhC149 billion, for the same period in 2019, total value of interbank cheques processed was Ghc124 billion representing a decline of 16%.
This decline was as a result of the reduction in the value of interbank cheques issued by large corporates who form the majority of customers who issue cheques for business transactions.
GHIPSS however says electronic payments in Ghana are gravitating towards mobile payment options, especially with the introduction of the real time and digital financial services.
Security in electronic payment system
The report shows that most organizations are also beginning to appreciate the security and convenience that come with the use of electronic funds transfer services like ACH Direct Credit.
The growth in the transaction volumes for the e-zwich services can be attributed to the use of the platform by government for the payment of beneficiaries of most of its social intervention programmes.
In 2019, the number of beneficiaries on the LEAP programme paid via e-zwich increased from 213 thousand households in 2018 to 323 thousand in 2019.