5 new products for national digital payments platform in 2020

This year will be a busy one with regards to the rollout of new digital payments products onto the national electronic payments architecture installed by the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlements Systems (GhIPSS), as it plans to introduce five new digital products that will be interoperable by all 23 commercial banks as well as the ARB Apex Bank (on behalf of all the rural and community banks), savings and loans companies, and third party payment service providers, (such as financial technology firms, MasterCard, Visa and mobile money operators), all of which use its nationwide infrastructure.

The impending new products due to be introduced in 2020 were announced last Friday by GhIPSS executive management led by its CEO, Archie Hesse.

Importantly, GhIPSS executives have clarified the industry positioning of the company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana, established in 2007 with a mandate to create and manage interoperable payment system infrastructure for banks and non-bank financial institutions in Ghana.

Contrary to the growing conventional wisdom that GhIPSS is preparing to become an active player in Ghana’s electronic payments platforms industry, its executives have explained that rather, it will continue to restrict itself to establishing platforms and managing them for use by financial institutions, who will continue to compete against each other with their respective branded versions of the products and services made possible by using GhIPSS platforms.

The mistaken belief that GhIPSS is seeking to become an industry player itself arose from its decision to introduce an interoperable version of the revolutionary QR Code product first introduced by Ecobank Ghana and subsequently replicated by several other banks. However, GhIPPS has clarified that its decision follows engagements with Ecobank and the other banks now offering proprietary versions of the service which enables merchants to receive payments from various customer funding sources such as bank accounts, debit cards, mobile money wallets and electronic wallets.

GhIPSS impending version, which is its flagship initiative for 2020 is known as Ghana’s Interoperable QR Code solution (GhQR) and will provide a standardized specification for interoperable payments across the country.

By providing a centralized switching service at GhIPSS for QR code payments by all participants it will enable customers of financial institutions, financial technology firms (fintechs) and mobile money operators, to either receive or make payments by simply scanning a quick response code on their smart phones.

Four other interoperable products accessible nationwide by customers of financial payments services providers are […]

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