Internet bankingIt should soon be possible for you to sit behind your computer and transfer money from your bank account to a third party in real-time. That is if banks accept a proposal to integrate their Internet portals to the clearing house at Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).

The move will give meaning to branchless banking and bring a lot of convenience to bank customers who will no longer need to be physically present at a banking hall in order to transfer money.

A number of banks offer Internet banking but devise various means to handle the interbank transfers, which tend to delay. But with the new proposal, the transactions will be faster.

All that the banks will be required to do is integrate their Internet portals to the Clearing House Gateways (CHGs).

GhIPSS has commenced talks with the banks to make this initiative a reality.

Speaking in an interview, the Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, explained that the country has the requisite infrastructure to create more convenience for banks and their customers. He said all GhIPSS is seeking to do is to explore the various opportunities that the national electronic payment infrastructure provides in order to modernise payments in the country.

Mr. Hesse explained that when the banks integrate their Internet portal to the clearing gateway, more customers are likely to resort to Internet banking — which could reduce the number of people visiting banking halls, easing pressure on bank staff. He also said that it could lead to a drop in cash transactions, as bank customers will be able to effect payment from their computer and mobile phones with Internet access.

Some banks are already in the lead, and it is the expectation of GhIPSS that the others will follow suit.

There has been much talk about branchless banking which means that the public will be able to perform banking transactions without being physically present at banking halls. In a fast-paced world and the cost of moving in traffic-laden cities, it is becoming apparent that creating the option for customers to access banking services from the comfort of their homes and offices is the way to go.

Countries such as Brazil have made significant strides in branchless banking, while Kenya has gained popularity for the use of mobile money.

Ghana has the infrastructure to support various forms of electronic banking, and fewer queues at the banking hall of some banks show that, increasingly, customers are taking to electronic banking instead of visiting banking halls.

Mr. Hesse is certain that if bank customers are enabled to access as many services as possible through the Internet, banking halls will be decongested while more money stays within the banking sector and increases the banks? liquidity. ?This is a win-win situation,? he stressed.

The GhIPSS Boss said they will actively engage with the managing directors of banks — not to only ensure that they integrate their Internet portals to the clearing gateway, but also explore other electronic payment options to create convenience and satisfaction for the banking public.

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