Business News of Monday, 31 December 2012
About 18 million Ghana cedis on the average were sent every quarter through the e-zwich Payment Distribution System (PDS) this year from some 48,000 transactions.
This is about 100 per cent increase in the value and volume of PDS transactions recorded in 2011, data from Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) indicates.
PDS is the system where bulk money is paid electronically onto the e-zwich card of different recipients, which is normally used to pay salaries, commissions and other forms of bulk transfers.
Since the introduction of PDS by GhIPSS, a number of companies have enrolled to use the payment systems to make bulk transfers.
Most of the companies are using it to pay salaries and commissions, which are received by the recipients directly on their e-zwich card and can access the money as and when they please.
Under the PDS, payments are batched together in huge volumes and sent at a go to different recipients at different locations throughout the country, and monies are received instantly by the various individuals, who could be in their hundreds of thousands on their e-zwich cards, officials of GhIPSS have explained.
According to data provided by GhIPSS, payments through PDS could go up to 19.7 million Ghana cedis in a quarter.
Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Mr Archie Hesse, said the growth in the use of PDS has been impressive, stating that “we have moved from volumes of 14,000 in the quarter three of 2011 to 43,000 in quarter three of this year, and the values are 6.3 million Ghana cedis and 18.1 million Ghana cedis for the third quarters of last year and this year respectively”.
Mr. Hesse explained that paying different people at different locations tend to be very cumbersome, time wasting and expensive, so a lot of organizations saw the introduction of the PDS “as a fantastic solution, which enables them to send monies to several people, particularly workers and agents at different places with just a click of a button”.
Students’ loans and National Service allowances are also paid through the PDS, and Mr. Hesse explained that apart from the convenience that it brings, it is also being used to inculcate the habit of using cards among the younger generation.
He said: “We have introduced e-zwich at Senior High Schools for payment of fees and receiving of remittances, then at the University, your loans are paid on to the e-zwich card and when you finish school and doing your National Service, you would be receiving your allowance on the same e-zwich card. By the time you start working, you would have acquired the habit of using cards”.
The GhIPSS Boss, explained that with the introduction of more Point of Sales (POSes) devices and the ability to use the e-zwich card as well as the normal ATM card to shop through the POSes, in the very near future, there would be several opportunities for people to use cards instead of cash and “we are preparing our young ones for this card and other electronic based payment system instead of the heavy dependence on cash for every transaction”.
Mr. Hesse said GhIPSS was on course with its mandate to transform Ghana into an electronic based payment system, adding that the coming year will see a lot of exciting developments.