As part of efforts to promote and encourage the use of digital payment options to limit the possible spread of the Coronavirus through physical cash, the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) has waived off fees on all electronic payments services used by its partner financial service providers.
The fee waiver which is set to be introduced from Monday, 23rd of March, 2020 is regardless of the volume and value of transactions.
In a statement, the GhIPSS states that this is “pursuant to the measures outlined by the Central bank of Ghana, as part of efforts to contain the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Ghanaian economy and also to promote the use of electronic payment services.”
It further notes that all Banks, Fintechs & Mobile Money Operators, leveraging its numerous platforms to offer electronic payment services to the general public shall not incur any service charges.
“For customers who do business through Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI), all cross wallet transactions shall not attract any fee from GhIPSS. For GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP), Banks & Fintechs offering Instant Pay services to their respective customers shall also not pay any service charge to GhIPSS. And for banks leveraging the ACH Direct Credit platform for bulk payments such as salaries; on behalf of their corporate Institutions shall also not incur any service charge from GhIPSS,” the statement added.
The company is also urging all partner banks, Fintechs and Mobile Money Service Providers to make these services available to customers on their various digital and mobile payment platforms (mobile app, internet banking, USSD etc.)
Cases in Ghana
In Ghana, the novel Coronavirus cases have increased to 24, with one death recorded on Saturday, March 21, 2020, involving a 61-year old Lebanese resident in Ghana.
Ghanaian banks announce safety measures to combat COVID-19
Already, some banks in the country have deployed safety measures to check against the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
With currency notes found to be one of the conduits for the spread of the COVID-19, Stanbic Bank in a message advised its customers to ensure they have less contact with banknotes while admonishing the use of digital channels.
The Bank of Ghana earlier this month also announced that electronic transfer of money of up to GH¢100 will not attract any charge from March 20, 2020.
According to the Bank of Ghana, the move is in line with efforts to allow the digital transfer of money over the next three months in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“All mobile money users can send up to GH₵100 for free (excluding cash out). This includes sending to a recipient on the same network, or another network via the interoperability platform,” a statement from the central bank indicated.