Digital transactions in Ghana saw a tremendous increase both in volume and value in 2020 compared to 2019 according to the latest data from under the Ghana Interbank Payment & Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).
The data showed that a total of 77 million transactions were recorded on all platforms compared to the 38 million transactions in 2019. This represents an increase of 103% in digital transactions.
The report indicated that the transactions captured in the GhIPSS product performance report include electronic clearing of cheques, Automated Clearing House (ACH), e-zwich, and gh-link. All these saw different increases in transaction volumes.
The data showed that the number one contributor to the increase was Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI). The MMI recorded a total of 43.9 million transactions, representing a 367% increase from 9 million transactions processed in 2019.
“At the end of 2020, GIP transactions increased by 257% from 1.9 million in 2019 to 6.8 million. GhIPSS also recorded introductory transactions from new services such as Proxy Pay and GhQR code,” the report noted.
The Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse said the increase in digital transactions is due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The upsurge in the use of these real-time services was largely influenced by COVID-19 related factors such as the 3 weeks lockdown which restricted the physical movements of people, public awareness through extensive education discouraging the handling of physical cash and encouraging the use of electronic alternatives and the incentivization from the financial services industry with fee waivers on their services,” he said.
The clearing house saw the second-highest volume of instruments recording a 0.10% increase. This brought the total volume of cheques processed in 2020 to 14.9 million transactions.
The three weeks partial lockdown affected the clearing house since corporates that are the primary users of Cheques and ACH were unable to operate. Meanwhile, some economic sectors have not been able to return to normal operations resulting in reduced economic activity.
The clearing house, however, remains the most preferred channel for processing high values, especially by large corporate institutions.