ACH Direct Credit hits GH¢5.7bn in first 4mths

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Payments made through ACH Direct Credit continue to experience growth in patronage, with about GH¢5.7 billion worth of transactions made between January and April this year. According to figures from the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), out of this amount over GH¢900million was through the express option. This shows that, increasingly, the banking public comprising both individuals and companies are turning to Direct Credit for interbank fund transfers.

In January this year, about GH¢1.1billion worth of transactions were done through ACH Direct Credit; however this value went up to about GH¢1.5billion in April, indicating a consistent rise in preference for the payment system.

Direct Credit is an electronic payment system wherein a customer instructs his/her bankers to make payments of a specified amount on a specified date to another account of a different bank. Many banks have made this payment system even more attractive by allowing their customers to use their Internet banking window to send the ACH requests.

It is suitable for bulk payments such as salaries, insurance premiums and claims, as well as payment of dividends; while individuals can also use it to pay for mortgages as well as items bought on hire-purchase and other forms of interbank transfers.

Although ACH Direct Credit is an initiative of GhIPSS, it is offered through banks just like all other initiatives by the national payment system infrastructure provider. Currently, GhIPSS together with the country’s banks is running public campaigns to further deepen awareness about ACH Direct Credit.

The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse said in an interview that the complexities and delays normally associated with sending or paying someone with an account of a different bank can be avoided using ACH Direct Credit. He therefore encouraged the public to request ACH services anytime they want to make such interbank payments. The GhIPSS boss also urged organisations to use ACH for salary payments, since it enables their employees to get their monies quicker. He added that insurance companies can also use it to receive premiums, while it also remains one of the most effective ways of paying dividend to shareholders.

Globally, ACH Direct Credit has become the preferred form of interbank payments, and banks – particularly in advanced nations – are using the payment system to develop various payment solutions for their clients. As the patronage of ACH Direct Credit continues to soar, many analysts are hopeful that the campaign to migrate Ghana into a cash-lite regime is on course.