Govt Urged To Pay Employees By Electronic Means

Electronic Means

Strategic Payments Roadmap for Ghana report has recommended the payment of government employees by electronic means instead of the traditional cheque and cash.

Electronic MeansThe Report prepared by Standard Chartered Bank for the Bank of Ghana spells out steps needed to ensure an effective electronic payments system and move to a cash-lite society.

The Report, which recommends the setting up of a Payment Council at the apex, suggests that a working group should operate under the Council to achieve the goal.

Ahead of the implementation of the report?s recommendation, Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) is already in talks with the Controller General?s Department to ensure public sector workers get paid part of their salaries on the e-zwich card.

This began with the payment of some staff of the Department on the biometric card and efforts are underway to extend it to include other public sector workers.

While the Report acknowledges this initiative by GhIPSS and the Controller?General?s Department, it suggests that the forms of paying workers electronically be extended to include mobile money wallets.

It said it should be possible to move money to and from a bank account to a mobile money wallet.

This level of interoperability between mobile money and bank accounts is expected to make electronic payment of salaries attractive.

When such a recommendation is implemented, it would be possible for people to receive part of their salaries on either the e-zwich card, mobile money wallet or both in addition to the traditional bank account.

This would create a lot of flexibility and convenience for workers as well as their employers.

In order to stimulate electronic payment of employees, the Report encourages government to take up the initiative, suggesting that such an action, as it is being been rolled out by GhIPSS and Comptroller General, would push private sector organisations to also begin paying their employees through the electronic payment system.

Analysts suggest that besides the benefit to employees as well as the drive to go cash-lite, it also has the potential to effectively eliminate ghost names.

Government has started disbursing funds for Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) through mobile money and e-zwich.

However to encourage high patronage and compliance, the Report suggests additional ways of making electronic payment of salaries attractive.

It says it should be made more expensive to receive salaries through cash or cheque compared to electronic payments.

Although the Report did not mention specific ways of achieving this, it might mean, charging higher fees or commission on cheques and cash as forms of paying salaries while lower or no fees for salaries paid electronically.

Currently GhIPSS is rolling out Point of Sales terminals with close to 200 of them active in shops, restaurants, beauty parlours, hotels and pharmacies. It is also working with banks to make exiting automated teller machines e-zwich compliant.


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