Business News of 2013-12-24

Mobile phone payments to be available to all banks

It will be possible for all bank customers to make payments from their mobile phone from next year, the Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Mr Archie Hesse has said.

This follows the development of a gh-link mobile payment system by GhIPSS in collaboration with e-transact.

The gh-link platform introduced by GhIPSS interconnects all the banks and therefore any service available on the electronic platform will be available to the banks.

Currently a few banks have introduced the mobile phone payment system, but with the gh-link platform, all other banks will be able to provide the service.

The mobile phone payment systems, will link customers phones to their bank accounts and enable them to make payments from their mobile phones.

The payment system is intended to create more convenience for bank customers and encourage more people to keep bank accounts.

Mr Hesse explained that the system has already been developed and would be tested early next year before it will go live.

He said the introduction of the gh-link mobile was part of GhIPSS mandate to transform Ghana into an electronic payment society that will make payments and banking in general pleasurable and convenient for the customer while reducing the cost of operation for banks.

Currently local ATM cards can be used in virtually any ATM, following the introduction of the gh-link ATM.

GhIPSS has also begun piloting the gh-link hybrid Point of Sales (POS) terminal which enables bank customers to use local ATM cards to shop. The mobile payment system will be added to give the public additional flexibility.

Mr Hesse said every effort is being made to bring Ghana’s payment system to international standards, so that dependence on cash transactions will reduce.

He urged banks to work hard to promote and ensure that these services were well patronized.

He said the mobile phone payment system and payment with ATM cards, will mean that more transactions will take place through the banking system and banks will be able to retain more money to on lend.

“If banks can retain a lot of money, because most transactions are taking place through the banking system, then they would have access to cheap money and loans should also be cheaper”, Mr Hesse added.

The mobile payment and other payment systems that will come on board next year are expected to generate more business opportunities, as support services will be required to ensure their successful implementation.

Mr Hesse hinted at many business opportunities for IT based companies next year because of the services that would be deployed.