West Africa to Integrate Banking System

Plans are underway to integrate banking systems of Ghana, Nigeria and French speaking West African countries. When the project comes fully on stream, it will enhance interoperability between the systems of all banks in the sub-region.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GHIPSS), Mr. Fred France disclosed this at the launch of Ghana’s Automated Clearing House (GACH) Direct Credit (DC) and Direct Debit (DD) payment in Accra.

“There are plans to connect Ghana’s national Switch to those of Nigeria and the West African French speaking countries. ECOWAS is also working on a West African switch which will enhance interoperability between the systems of all banks in the sub-region,” the GHIPSS Chief Executive Officer hinted.

France revealed that giving the closed nature of the e-zwich platform, the rising demand for an open switch by many banks, GHISS, with the support of the Bank of Ghana was a process of implementing an open switch which will be integrated with the former.

“This will allow for the processing of biometric, Euro pay/ MasterCard/ Visa and other international and locally branded card transactions on behalf of banks in Ghana,” he asserted.

Speaking on the benefits of GACH, France stressed, “GACH will provide banks with the opportunity and process payment instructions on their own and on behalf of their customers and convert those to other banks for the credit of those banks own account of the accounts of their customers.”

He contended that the transactions which are referred to as direct credit transfers will facilitate the remittance of funds from a payer through his bankers to the disclosed beneficiary.