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Business News Tue, 25 Aug 2015

GhiPSS launches E-commerce breakthrough

Banks, local businesses, consumers of financial services are but a few of beneficiaries who are in line to reap from a groundbreaking innovation by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlements Systems (GhIPSS) that will allow instant bank transfers, as well as the ability to use gh-link local cards for e-commerce transactions.

The two innovations were on Wednesday launched by the central bank governor Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah at a ceremony that was attended by managers of various commercial banks, financial institutions, managers of the e-commerce platforms among other key stakeholders.

Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive of GhIPSS Archie Hesse said the two innovations, gh-link e-commerce and GhIPSS Instant Pay, represent by far some of the greatest strides the country has made in the quest to achieve a cash-lite economy.

The e-commerce provides a platform for local businesses both in commerce and service industry, government agencies as well as NGOs to receive payments online from customers who are using their domestic ATM cards.

The development literally means that when the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) or the Ghana Water Company is able to develop a functional website that can receive payments, consumers will be able to pay their utility bills relying solely on their domestic ATM cards.

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The GhIPSS Instant Pay on the other hand makes it possible for companies and individuals to transfer funds from their banks to any other bank instantly: previously such transfers could take anything between 24-48 hours.

“There is a fast-growing global trend toward faster payments; business transactions require quicker turnaround times. GhIPSS continues to observe and listen to the market, and has demonstrated its ability to provide timely solutions.

“It is our expectation that these two services will enhance payment relationships between educational institutions and their students; utilities, service providers and commercial entities and their customers just to mention a few,” he said.

According to Mr. Hesse, GhIPSS has stepped up its efforts to ensure security of all transactions on the platform.

“We have implemented a cardholder authentication system modelled on the 3D secure technology to ensure the cardholder is protected from fraud, and also reduce the incidence of chargeback for online merchants,” he added.

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Speaking at the launch of the two services, the BoG Governor said they fall in line with the central bank’s approach to moving the economy into cash-lite. He said through the innovation of GhIPSS, the financial sector players can enhance their service delivery.

The central bank recently announced a set of guidelines for E-money Issuers as part of measures to regulate the mobile money sector. The guidelines require that mobile network operators partner banks to run their mobile money business.

Dr. Wampah said commercial banks have to reposition themselves so as to benefit from the emerging trends of the banking industry.

President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, the umbrella-body of commercial banks, Simon Dornoo gave the assurance that its members are willing to adopt innovations as released by GhIPSS.

He said the future of banking lies away from the traditional brick and mortar structures adding that such innovations usually go a long way to enhance consumer-user experience.

Source: B&FT