One of the key projects that will be rolled out next year by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System Ltd. (GhIPSS) will enable businesses, both small and big including public institutions, to receive payment online.
e-Commerce business has picked up significantly in Ghana, with its ripple-effect on courier services. The biggest challenge has however remained an appropriate online payment solution. Currently, many e-commerce businesses have had to rely on the integrity of the courier service provider to receive payment on their behalf.
This has landed some firms in nightmarish situations, as some of the courier service providers disappear with the money or come back with all kinds of stories about the money being lost or stolen. The other option has been payment through mobile money, which has gained currency especially in the wake of mobile money interoperability.
However, from the coming year, the public will finally have the option to pay online using their local bank cards, also referred to as gh-link cards. This should enable online shoppers in Ghana to also buy locally and pay using the local cards that have been issued by banks.
Probably the most exciting part of this development is the fact that major state enterprises and institutions such as the Electricity of Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company, Ghana Revenue Authority and Registrar-General among others can be set up to receive payments online. If this happens, the public will be able to pay taxes, fees and bills online using their bank cards.
GhIPSS will be working with major institutions as well as some Fintechs which can serve as aggregators, and set them up so they are enabled to receive payment online.
Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS Archie Hesse said the processes are almost complete for this service to go live. He explained that GhIPSS is engaging with airlines, state institutions as well as key players in the e-commerce industry to ensure that online payment using the bank cards becomes common from the coming year.
Although GhIPSS will not work directly with small and micro businesses, which dominate the e-commerce sector, such small operators will work through the aggregators in order to be able to also receive payment online. Mr. Hesse therefore encouraged Fintechs to market themselves to the smaller businesses in order to provide the service to them. He also advised firms in the e-commerce space to speak to Fintechs and be set up to receive payments online.
GhIPSS has had a busy 2018, rolling out the first and second phase of mobile money interoperability. Mr. Hesse said the direction for 2019 is toward more real-time payment, and several new solutions will be offered to ensure that making payments in any part of Ghana is simple, convenient and secure.