Patronage of various e-zwich products and services continue to rise, with the value of transactions involving payment of salaries and loans going up to GH¢35.5 million last year from GH¢15.5 million in 2010.

This represents an increase of 130 per cent.

The volume also increased by 116 per cent from 47,046 to 101,622 transactions, Mr Archie Hesse, General Manager in Charge of Project and Business Development told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Tuesday.

He explained that these transactions involve salaries, disbursement of loans and benefit payment through the e-zwich Payment Distribution System (PDS), which enables companies to pay commissions, or other forms of remuneration to thousands of workers in the fastest possible time and it is received on the e-zwich card.

Mr Hesse explained that, the impressive growth in the patronage of the e-zwich PDS is due to the obvious advantages of quick and convenient payments.

He said thousands of workers located at different parts of the country can be paid in a matter of minutes and those monies will instantly hit the e-zwich cards of the intended beneficiaries.

Companies and organisations, which have both permanent staff and workers on commission basis dotted round the country, have the challenge of paying their workers on time, he said.

He said, it is also very expensive as it involves driving hundreds of miles to disburse the funds. In cases where the disbursement is done through the banking system, it still takes a longer time for the monies to be credited to the recipients because the cheques must move from one bank to another.

However with the PDS, payments for hundreds or thousands of workers can be lumped together in batches and send to all recipients instantly through the electronic means.

Mr Hesse mentioned that, a number of blue chips companies, which are finding ways to better manage their costs had embraced the e-zwich PDS and in the process making significant savings.

“PDS also gives you an audit trail and this helps clear on payment disputes,” he added.

One other reason for the increase in the patronage for PDS is the fact that smaller banks and micro finance companies with limited branch outlets have found it to be the best way to disburse loans to customers in areas where they do not have branches.

Officials of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) are upbeat about the patronage of PDS and are hopeful that, it would continue to do better.

They encouraged companies which are still battling with paying commissions, salaries or disbursement of loans to get on board and experience the convenience of electronic payments.

GhIPSS figures also indicate that the number of companies which now use the PDS has also more than double from 20 in 2010 to 50 at the end of 2011.

Meanwhile, internal money transfers through the e-zwich also experienced a growth of 147 percent in 2011.**

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