The latest figures from Ghana Interbank Payment system (GhIPSS) suggest that in the first quarter of this year, 1,254 Instant Pay transactions took place but the number went up by some 472.6 percent to 7,181 transactions by the end of the second quarter.

The value of the transactions was worth about GH¢5.5 million in the first quarter and over GH¢16 million by the end of the second quarter, a growth of almost 200 per cent.

The significant surge indicates heightened public interest in the electronic payment system, which is the quickest interbank payment channel in the country.

The Instant Pay service is the latest initiative by the GhIPSS that allows the transfer of funds from one account to another of a different bank in a matter of seconds.

GIP went live late last year and has been recording impressive patronage by the banking public.

Most of the banks have customised the service and allow their customers to use both online and mobile phone applications to access it.

Interbank transfer which used to be a nightmare in Ghana, has become a common and easy transaction. Currently, apart from cheques, interbank transfers can also be done through Automated Clearing House (ACH).

However, these services take at least 24 hours for the transaction to be effected except under the express service window which takes a couple of hours at the minimum. The introduction of the Instant Pay, which ensures that the interbank transfer is immediate, has completely demystified interbank transfers.

It also comes handy for businesses and individuals who need to urgently send or receive money.

Mr Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS said Instant Pay is “as good as cash but even more secured”. He explained that with the service, money in the bank account could be quickly moved around even faster than cash, urging the public to request for it anytime they needed to make quick payments.“Banks are offering instant pay as internet banking and on mobile phones so you don’t need to step out to send huge or small sums of money and the recipient will get it immediately”, he added.

Instant Pay and mobile money have been tipped as the two electronic payment services that can speed up financial inclusion in Ghana. Mr. Hesse said Instant Pay will boost confidence in the banking system as it empowers customers to send and receive money instantly, although the funds are actually held in their bank accounts.

He, therefore, urged the banks to continue to create awareness as it could form strong basis to rope in the unbanked, particularly those in the vibrant informal sector.

Source: Adnan Adams Mohammed