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Category: Business & Economics Created on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:31 Published Date Written by GNA Hits: 334
Accra, July 15, GNA - The number of recurrent payments made using the Direct Credit of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) has more than doubled from January to June this year.
At the beginning of the year, 50,000 payments were made through the ACH Direct credit every month but that figure has shot to 110, 000 every month, indicating that the banking public are realizing the benefits of the electronic payment system.
Direct Credit is an electronic payment system similar to standing order, where a customer instructs his or her bankers to make recurring payments of a specified amount and on a specified date.
However, unlike the Standing Order, the Direct Credit is done electronically and it is quicker and safer.
The Direct Credit was introduced following the establishment of the National Electronic Clearing House some three years ago by Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).
It is one of the services introduced by GhIPSS to enhance the country’s payment system in line with modern trends.
Speaking in an interview, Head of Clearing Unit at GhIPSS, Mrs Akosua Blay said the patronage of ACH Direct Credit had gone up significantly following constant education about the enormous benefit of the payment system.
She said GhIPSS was, however, working hard to get five million payment made through the system.
The Direct Credit is an effective payment system and can also be used for bulk payments such as salaries and dividends. It is also very useful for companies that sell goods on hire purchase as well as mortgage companies.
Explaining the benefits of the Direct Credit, the Head of Clearing Unit said it made it possible for huge sums of money to be paid to different recipients within a very short period.
She added that it also makes payment very simple with a better audit trail.
Another form of ACH is the Direct Debit, which allows service providers to receive tariffs and other recurring payments from their customers.
The Direct Debit will enable a company that receives regular payment from its customers to allow the customer to make these payments electronically through the banking system.
Companies such as the Electricity Company of Ghana, paid television channels such as DSTV, and telecommunication companies which provide postpaid services can use Direct Debit to receive payments from their customers in a more efficient way.
Unlike the Direct Credit, the patronage for Direct Debit is still low. However GhIPSS is taking various initiatives to increase its patronage and also push it to about five million every month in the near future.
To achieve this target, GhIPSS will this week, organize free refresher workshops for all the banks to further explain the benefits of Direct Debit to the bankers in order to encourage them to entice their corporate customers who receive recurring payments to use this system.
The refresher workshop will touch on the system operations and procedures, compliance and the business development opportunities of ACH.
Mrs. Blay said apart from making receipts of payments more efficient, the Direct Debit presents an opportunity for banks to increase their floats, as the various recurring payments to the service providers will end up at the banks.
A number of service providers have huge challenges collecting money from their customers for postpaid services. The use of the Direct Debit will therefore be a major solution to this challenge.
Mrs. Blay therefore encouraged the various service providers to contact their banks to initiate the process that will enable them receive payments from their customers through the ACH Direct Debit system.
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