ACH Direct Credit Records GH¢11bn

Archie Hesse

The value of bank transfers through Automated Clearing House (ACH) Direct Credit hit GH¢11.02 billion in the first half of this year.

This was 43 percent higher than the value of transactions recorded for the same period last year which stood at GH¢7.7 billion.

The volume was 29 percent higher at about 2.9 million transactions in the first half of this year compared to 2.2 million transactions for the same period last year.

The high growth in the value suggests an increased confidence in the payment system, as more people were using it for higher value transactions.

The value and volume of ACH Direct Credit transactions are contained in the half-year product performance summary by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).

Direct Credit, which is one of the two forms of Automated Clearing House (ACH), is a simple, secure and reliable service which enables individuals, large and small organisations to make payments by electronic transfer directly into a bank account.

It involves a debit to an account in the sender’s bank and a transfer of the amount of money directly into the beneficiary’s account in another bank.

The electronic nature of the Direct Credit makes disbursement of bulk funds quick and safe.

It also enables intended recipients to receive their funds on time.

Direct Credit is used for payment of salaries, pensions, welfare benefits, commissions, supplier payments, dividend and refunds among others.

It’s also suitable for interest payments, government payments, as well as business-to-business payments.

The use of Direct Credit to make payments started slowly, but has caught on as a convenient and reliable mode of interbank transfers especially for bulk payments.

Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, explained that consistent public education, together with the banks, accounted for the growth in patronage for ACH Direct Credit.

He said ACH Direct Credit was a more efficient way of making bulk payments such as salaries and encouraged companies, who are still paying salaries using cheques to try ACH Direct Credit.

Meanwhile, the express form of Direct Credit recorded an even higher growth in patronage for the first of half this year.

The volume of transactions shot up by over 140 percent from 131,635 to 317,716 transactions while the value increased by almost 170 percent from GH¢1.4 billion to GH¢3.7 billion.

Express Direct Credit implies that the transfer is effected on the same day once the mandate is issued before 11 a.m.

Mr Hesse called on stakeholders to make efforts to popularise ACH Direct Credit.

He expressed the hope that public patronage of ACH Direct Credit would significantly outstrip cheques as it’s a better alternative.