The direct debit scheme, which is under the Ghana Automated Clearing House (ACH), is operational.
While the direct credit is initiated by a bank customer who wants to make regular or recurring payment on a specified date, direct debit is initiated by an organisation that wants to receive regular or recurring payment from its clients.
Speaking to journalists in Accra, the Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPPS), Fred France explained that the direct debit process begins with an organisation or service provider, which normally receives recurring payments, writing to its bankers to be part of this scheme.
The bank, upon receipt of the application, will assess the company’s risk profile before accepting the request.
Once the bank is satisfied with the credibility of the company, it will in turn write formally to GhIPSS indicating its intention to operate the direct debit scheme for the company.
The company, which initiates the scheme, would then be asked to sign an indemnity form, which will be forwarded to GhIPSS through its bank.
Mr. France added that when GhIPSS receives the indemnity form, it will acknowledge receipt, review it and then provide a reference number for the initiating company known as the Originator’s Identification Number (OIN).
This number, he explained, will be stated on all correspondence and direct debit transactions between the company and the customers that will be making the recurring or regular payments.
Mr. France revealed that the process is simple, adding that much of the work will be done by the banks.
For instance if Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) wants its customers to pay their bills through the direct debit scheme, it will only need to make a written request to its bankers, he said.
The bank will then write to GhIPSS while ECG will subsequently sign an indemnity form on behalf of its bank which will be forwarded to GhIPSS. Based on this form, GhIPSS will issue the OIN which will subsequently be displayed on all direct debit transactions. .
ECG’s bankers will then assist the company to draft a mandate which will be signed by the customer of ECG authorizing the regular payments.
Mr. France said firms or service providers that receive regular or recurring payments can use the direct debit scheme. This includes Ghana Water Company, mortgage or home finance companies, hire-purchase firms, insurance companies, telecommunication companies for their post-paid customers and paid television channels such as DSTV.
The chief executive of GhIPSS also stated that the direct debit can be used for regular fixed payments and regular payments that vary.
With regard to a customer signing an indemnity form, Mr. France explained that it is to empower the service provider’s bank to return any payment in case the customer of the service provider demands a refund.
The indemnity form will therefore cover the bank from any liability if it refunds the money to the customer upon request.
This provision, he noted, is also meant to protect the customer in the event of overpayments.
Source: Business Desk
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|