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Business News of Friday, 28 December 2012

Source: GNA

ACH sees 200 per cent growth in patronage in Q3

The patronage of the Ghana Automated Clearing House (GACH) has seen high monthly growth with transaction volumes almost 200 per cent higher in the third quarter compared to last year.

The GACH is an electronic payment system used in instances of repeated or recurring payments or collections, similar to Standing Orders and it is very effective for bulk payments. It is used for salary payments, premium payments or collections, utility bills, hire purchase and mortgage payments and other such recurring transactions.

According to the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), GACH transactions which stood at 199,640 at the end of the first quarter of this year, went up by 86 per cent by the third quarter to 371,115. The volume of transaction in the third quarter is however 198 per cent higher than 128,776 recorded in the third quarter of last year.

“The growth in the volume of GACH transactions is due to the growing confidence in the electronic payment system because of the speed, convenience, and security that it provides”, the Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse said.

He said with increasing competition and strong desire of companies to return good shareholder values, the finance departments of organizations are drifting towards suitable payment systems such as GACH that makes their work easier and efficient while allowing them to concentrate on proper financial management issues.

Mr. Hesse said initial figures clearly showed that the fourth quarter figures would also be great, adding that more organizations are expressing their preference for GACH and expected the coming year to see significant growth in both volume and value of transactions.

GhIPSS was set up by the Bank of Ghana some five years ago to lead the migration of the country into an electronic payment society. Since its establishment, the wholly owned Bank of Ghana subsidiary has introduced a biometric card called the e-zwich, an electronic clearing of cheques with express clearing session, and Payment Distribution System. Its recent addition is the gh-link Interbank ATM Transaction Switching that allows bank to share ATMs.

Mr. Hesse indicated that many education programmes would be carried out to ensure that more people understand the various payment options available to them and which one best suits their circumstances.

GACH comes in two forms, Direct Credit and Direct Debit. So far patronage for Direct Credit has been most impressive.

However, management of GhIPSS hope to drive interest in Direct Debit.

The organization is targeting 500,000 transactions each for Direct Credit and Direct Debit and it is hopeful that the targets will be achieved shortly considering the current rate of growth.

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