Saturday, 3 March 2018

Use electronic payments for transactions for your safety – businesses advised

Image result for electronic payments
Adnan Adams Mohammed

Businesses and the general public have been advised to adopt the electronic payment systems for transacting business to avoid increasing theft and armed robbery attacks on businesses in recent days.

 The recent spate of robbery attacks on businesses, in several cities and on major roads is ripping off the victims’ of huge sums of money.

However, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) Archie Hesse, has admonished the public to resort to using electronic forms of payment in order to reduce their exposure to being attacked by armed robbers.

 Government is putting in place measures to counter the unfortunate phenomenon, such as, the deployment of joint military and police teams to patrol the cities and is calling on the public to cooperate with the security agencies and report suspicious characters.

Information Minister, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid announced last week that the joint patrols, termed “operation calm life” are to safeguard the public and ensure safety for everyone to go about their business without fear.

He assured that it is only those with ill motives who will have the patrol teams to contend with.

He directed financial institutions to install CCTV cameras on their premises, which he said would be networked with the national operational command center.

Mustapha Hamid said the Ministry of Energy has been tasked to fast-track its programme to light up places that do not have light, a measure he said, that would also help combat crime.

The minister further warned the public to desist from the use of sirens when they have no authorization to do, specifying that only the President, Vice-president, Head of Security Bullion vans and some selected categories of people who may be led by a military or police dispatch rider can do so.

Mr. Hesse expressed his displeasure about the rising incidence of violent robbery and extended his sympathy to the victims of the robberies, reiterated that, it was time for Ghanaians to reduce their cash transactions.

Several electronic payment channels exist in Ghana that can enable both organisations and individuals to make payments without using cash and he pleaded with the public to turn to these non-cash forms of payments and reduce the tendency to carry huge sums of money around.

In recent times, many people have lost money through robbery, fire, flood and other disasters because of preference for cash but Mr. Hesse pointed out that, they could avoid all these inconveniences, if people kept their monies at the bank and accessed them through electronic payment channels to pay for transactions.

Mr. Hesse advised organisations to use payment options such as cheques, Automated Clearing House (ACH) Direct Debit or Direct Credit, internet and mobile banking to receive or make payments and added that, in situations where the organisation wants the money instantly transferred, they can set up and use the e-bills pay or mobile money for smaller values.

The GhIPSS CEO noted that cheques can be cleared the same day, through the express service and was, therefore, another important non-cash form of payment for both organisations and individuals.

“There are a variety of electronic payments channels working efficiently in Ghana that organisations and individuals can access through the financial institutions” he emphasised.

The GhIPSS boss said his outfit will continue to ensure the efficient running of the platforms supporting these electronic payments options and urged the banks to ensure that these services are offered seamlessly to boost public confidence in them stating that, “technology is an enabler, it is there to solve problems, so let use it to address our exposure to robberies.”

The GhIPSS together with financial institutions are to heighten the cash-lite campaign and he invited the media to support the agenda by creating platforms to educate the public on the benefits of electronic payments and dangers and cost associated with carrying cash.