Companies who continue to pay their workers cash over the counter, instead of through the banks have been advised to quit the practice especially because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The advice comes on the back of experts arguing that cash could be a mode for transmitting the virus.
Financial institutions have been encouraging the public to turn to electronic payment channels to reduce their exposure to the virus. While many shops now accept electronic payments-especially mobile money, payment of wages and salaries of employees of some organizations in cash, remains a challenge.
Relatively small companies as well as those with large casual workers tend to pay their workers in cash. This practice has been going on despite the several electronic options that exist. The practice of paying workers on table-top poses risks to both the employer and employee in the form of armed robbery and pilfering.
With the corona virus pandemic, the practice also poses serious health risks to the person paying as well as those receiving the cash. Besides possible transmission of the virus through the handling of the cash, paying cash to such large number of people can hardly be done without compromising physical distancing.
Speaking in an interview, the Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse urged companies to stop the practice of paying workers cash for the sake of the safety of the employees and themselves.
He therefore asked them to use any of the many electronic payment options available.
Mr. Hesse explained that companies can use ACH Direct Credit or e-zwich to pay their employees including those they consider as casual. He said smaller firms such as those into construction can use mobile money if they find the other electronic payment channels too complex for their operations.
The GhIPSS Boss noted that “it will be such a terrible thing to contract the virus receiving your salary or wage through cash, this is very avoidable. It is even not convenient that anytime you have to pay salaries or wages, someone must be physically present, when you can do that remotely”.
Mr. Hesse pleaded with companies who still do table-top payment to stop and speak to their banks or credible FinTechs for advice on the various payment options that suit their operations. He said GhIPSS Instant Pay, mobile banking apps and mobile money are options available to small firms while the larger ones can opt for ACH Direct Credit, e-zwich and others that can be used for bulk transfers.
Ghana continue to record increases in the number of positive cases, prompting the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to stress on the need to observe the safety protocols. Practices such as table-top payment however remain an obstacle to the effort to stop the spread of the virus.