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GHIPSS aim to reduce West African cross-border cash transactions

Archie Hesse, Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System, has revealed plans to launch an internet-powered payment system that will interconnect Ghanaian financial service providers with their contemporaries in Nigeria and Francophone West African countries.

According to Hesse, the link is needed in order to ameliorate the burden that is currently associated with inter-country trading within the West African sub-region.

With the new system, he said traders will not have to carry cash across borders or be required to do a currency conversion before they can trade in French-speaking countries in the West African sub-region.

Hesse said all that will be required for cross-border trades when the link becomes live will be the point of sale (POS) devices to make cash withdrawals for necessary payments.

Giving the timeline for the project, he said barring unforeseen challenges the products will be available before the end of the first quarter of 2013. In all, three services will be launched by GHIPSS, with two of them introduced before the end of the year.

In addition to making cash withdrawals from the POS devices, Hesse added GHIPSS is also trying to introduce a service with which local shoppers can pay for products, goods and services via specially designed POS devices.

“The whole idea is to make cashless transactions very appealing to people,” he told Graphic Business.

He said the goal of the introduction of the various products is to make shopping easier, and reduce the burdens and risks associated with cash transactions

“Shopping with our local cards as one of the services will also enable people to purchase goods and services with their local cards anywhere they find themselves even when they don’t carry money along. It will reduce the burden of carrying physical cash around and also reduce the risk of being robbed by armed robbers,” he said.

He also used the medium to encourage the region’s financial institutions and members of the public to partner with GHIPSS in ensuring the actualization of the project.

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