Transactions of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) instant pay (GIP) services grew by 693.8% in the first quarter of this year.
This is due to the fact that the volume of GIP transactions between January and March 2020 stood at a little over one million compared to 126,925 transactions in 2019.
According to GhIPSS, though a full assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on electronic payments is yet to be done, there has been a significant increase in GIP transactions in the month of March 2020, when Ghana started recording its positive cases.
However, GIP volume transactions in February this year dropped by 7% compared to January. But the volume of transactions increased in March by 53.6%.
This indicates that consumers use GIP more in March compared to January and February 2020.
Some market watchers may attribute the increase in the use of GIP to increased use of electronic payments due to the coronavirus.
The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, explained that an overwhelming majority of GIP transactions involved people moving funds from their bank accounts to mobile money wallet of others or themselves.
He added that the trend showed how convenient mobile money wallets had become for many people.
The challenge, however, is that many people after moving funds from their bank account to mobile wallets, cash out to make payments.
But with the launch of the universal QR code, funds stored in mobile money wallets can be used to make a payment, Mr Hesse further explained.
GhIPSS last month launched the universal QR code which enables individuals to pay for goods and services by scanning displayed QR codes with their phones.
Users of feature phones can also pay via QR Code by dialling a merchant’s number that will also be displayed at the location.
Mr Hesse hoped that GIP would experience growth especially in this era of COVID-19 as more and more people turned to electronic payment channels.