The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has outlined e-bills payment as one of its key programmes for the year.
This means GhIPSS will undertake a number of activities to encourage the payment of bills through the various electronic payment options available, instead of queuing up at outlets to pay with cash.
GhIPSS has a number of electronic payment options particularly the Automated Clearing House (ACH) which comes in the form of Direct Credit and Direct Debit payment options. These two can be used to drive the e-bills payment in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, Mr Archie Hesse, in an interview hinted that his outfit will be working with financial institutions and service providers, to achieve this goal.
In view of this, GhIPSS last week, with support from Stanbic Bank organised a stakeholders forum on Direct Debit, during which there were frank discussions on how to drive patronage for the payment system.
Analysts say utility companies can use Direct Debit to receive payments electronically which should lead to significant increase in their collection rate.
Using the Direct Debit to receive payments, Mr. Hesse explained will also be cheaper, more convenient and allow for effective auditing and transparency for the companies.
He said this would be extremely useful particularly when these companies are complaining about customers not paying regularly or defaulting.
While Direct Debit is available for the service providers, customers on their own can pay their bills using Direct Credit by asking their bankers to do so on their behalf.
Patronage for Direct Credit has been impressive but GhIPSS wants to encourage the public to also use this payment option to pay their bills.
Mr. Hesse explained that bank account holders can simply request their banks to pay their utility and other bills on their behalf through Direct Credit.
The GhIPSS Boss said with a number of strategies in place in partnership with the financial institutions, there should be enough public awareness about these payment options for bills payment.
He said the cash-lite agenda was important and urged the public to embrace it wholeheartedly.