Small businesses urged to use digital payment solutions

BY: Ama Amankwah Baafi
 Mr Yusif Mohammed, Marketing Manager of IT Consortium
Mr Yusif Mohammed, Marketing Manager of IT Consortium

Small businesses have been urged to use digital payment solutions for easy and secure transactions.

The Marketing Manager of IT Consortium, a leading financial services technology solutions provider, Mr Yusif Mohammed,  gave the advice and noted that applying digital payment solutions could help such businesses to prevent fraudulent payment and improve payment information for the businesses and their clients.

In an interview on January 21, 2021, on how small businesses can cash in on online sales driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said consumers were increasingly moving towards simpler and more secure digital payment options.

“But this is not the case with small businesses. Many of them are still unsure of adopting end-to-end digital solutions probably due to factors such as resistance to change and the cost of implementation,” he said.

He added: “The impact of COVID-19 has become necessary for financial services technology solutions providers and payments organisations to act to reduce the damage to their businesses and customers. It is also expected that the crisis will also help to forge stronger, more trusted bonds between businesses and their customers, and everyone in the payments systems’ ecosystem.”

Retail Payment Solution

The Retail Payment Solution (RPS) was developed by IT Consortium basically for small businesses in the height of the pandemic last year.

Mr Mohammed said it was developed to aid in efforts to promote a cashless system with two models: the customer model and the merchant model.

“When we give this solution to businesses, it enables them to create bills for customers to make instant payments and the deferred payment for customers who are not present. When you create a bill and you choose deferred payment, it goes to them wherever they are,” he said.

How secure

He urged small businesses to endeavour to use digital payment solutions such as the RPS because it helped cut down errors unlike manual payments that led to significant time spent spotting and addressing errors.

“It helps you manage accounts effortlessly. If your small business is dealing with cash, you have to count every cedis. But if you choose to go digital, then every transaction will be automatically recorded and tracked. This means there will be less space for error so less time is spent in manually tallying and recording transactions,” he assured.

Again, Mr Mohammed said the risk of fraud was reduced as criminals were always on the lookout for blind spots in payment systems.

“Digital payment solutions improve the security of payment information for both business and clients,” he added.

Payment systems in Ghana

The development of payment and settlement systems in Ghana has been premised on the following key objectives: to prevent and or contain risks in payment, clearing and settlement systems; to establish a robust oversight and regulatory regime for the payment and settlement systems; to deepen financial intermediation; and to discourage the use of cash for transactions while encouraging the use of non-paper-based instruments, among others.

According to the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), the country was making steady progress towards becoming a cashlite society, as about 60 per cent of all financial transactions were initiated and completed on the various electronic platforms in use.

It said the economy would be considered fully cashlite when between 80 per cent to 90 per cent of all transactions took place on electronic platforms.

Some experts believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is also a blessing in disguise in the country's drive towards a cashlite economy.

Available data showed that since the outbreak of the disease in the country, the usage of digital platforms had shot up as more people avoided cash for fear that currencies could transmit the disease.