According to the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), electronic payment channels are increasingly becoming the preferred choice in various transactions; marking the increasing shift away from the use of cheques for such purposes. Although cheques still have the largest market share, it has slowed down while electronic payments are recording a significant growth in patronage.
The introduction of electronic payment platforms is the catalyst for the drop in the dominance of cheques. In the first half of this year, E-zwich transactions (29 percent) run neck to neck with cheques (30 percent), which experienced a drop from the 39 percentage share that it held in the first half of 2016.
The two were closely followed by ACH Direct Credit which accounts for 26 percent of transactions, while other services including Direct Debit, Gh-link, GIP, and Mobile Money Interoperability are also chipping away at the market share of cheques.
Noting that the trend is a strong indication that people are adopting digital platforms for payment, Archie Hesse, Chief Executive of the GhIPSS, intimated that in just two months after the introduction of mobile money interoperability, it has taken 3 (three) percent of total volume of transactions.
The inconvenience of having to physically go to the banking hall and wait for your turn, when the same transaction can be done faster using platforms outside the banking hall is a major reason why cheques are increasingly considered as being less efficient in financial transactions – prompting some banks to encourage the use of channels such as Mobile Money, ACH Direct, e-Bills Pay, etc., among others for smaller transactions.
Encouraging organizations not to restrict formal payments to cheques only, Mr Hesse said “times have changed and there are quicker, faster, and more secure ways of making formal payments and our organizations must move with the times and accept these new channels as formal payments as well”.
He further explained that the electronic channels have audit trails that could be recorded in their books for accounting purposes, and assured that the GhIPSS together with the banks will continue to educate and assist organizations to set up their accounting system to recognize the various electronic payments.
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