GHIPSS Boss Hints Ghana, As One Of The Best Countries With Digital Economy In The World
CEO of GHIPSS, Archie Hesse
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS), Archie Hesse has referred to Ghana’s digital economy as one of the best in the world.
According to him, a critical look at nations’ Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (IPSS) shows that Ghana is among the leading countries.
He said, “From the GHIPSS point of view, there are a whole number of stakeholders who run the system but when we look at national IPSS in the world, what we currently have in Ghana is one of the best in the world.”
Explaining his assertion on the PM Express, he indicated that GHIPSS has adopted robust measures and practices to check fraud.
“When you come to the bulk electronic payment environment or services, we have the ACH direct, the standard that is electronically used for payment. Then you come to interbank, bank account; paying from bank account into another bank account, we have the GHIPSS instant payment platform. We also have a unique platform on band, that mainly use the mobile money platforms. And the band world that uses GIP, we have aptly connected the two together and in Ghana, we’re able to see financial firms make transfers and payment between them,” he elaborated.
He however stated that the Central Bank of Ghana played a pivotal role in growing Ghana’s digital economy and emphasized that the current coronavirus pandemic is the best time to improve the digital environment.
“Yes, when it comes to transfers, we are there but how do we transition from transfers to payments? When it comes to that, you will see that last month or so, we launched a QR code. The QR code will replace some of the expensive point of sale devices that we have and it will enable us to make low cost payment using the rights on the GIP platform which means that merchants will now receive payment instantly using a cheaper platform. The central bank has been very instrumental in creating the right environment for digitized payment to growth. I have no doubt in my mind that yes, we ae in a very challenging times but the time is right,” he said.
Present for the discussion via zoom, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Kenneth Ashigbey stressed that the future for a fully virtual or digital Ghana is through collaborations.
According to him,
“generally, we’ve realized the fact that this is about an ecosystem. We are in the world right now that is about collaboration and so for us that’s really where the focus is on. How do we collaborate with everybody? It’s when we’re able to grow the small players to become big players and would be able to consume the sevices that we do. In terms of the Electronic Money Issue (EMI) or the Mobile Money (MoMo) issues of money companies who are our members, there’s a lot of collaboration going on in that particular space to be able to ensure that we really can move from where we are i.e. where we’re doing a lot more money transfer to where we have a very robust payment system. That’s really a merchant payment system, that’s where we really have to go.”
In explaining his premise on the theory of Ghana becoming a virtual environment in the future, Mr. Ashigbey said,
“So in terms of the collaboration, not only are we collaborating with players but with the regulators as well…it’s a whole conversation that we want to have where we can bring all players together to be able to ensure that we can grow them because once we get the merchant payment really sorted out, that’s where e-commerce will go. So, we also need to work together with everybody in building the confidence and to ensure that this system works.”
Citing education as one of the fields to be affected by a virtual environment, he highlighted ways of tackling the change.
He said, “when we look at e-commerce, we look at the world that’s to come. One of the major changes that’s going to happen is in education. Definitely with what we’re seeing now we’re not going to go back to it so how do we ensure that we are able to empower the teachers, we’re able to provide not only the networks but we will also provide devices and provide the knowhow to every body so that they are able to take advantage of the virtual platforms.”
He further stated that Ghanaians are too welcoming even on virtual platforms hence measures are being put in place to educate the society as to how to detect and prevent fraud since the technical aspect of dealing with fraud in a virtual environment has been taken care of.