Cheques are the most patronised non-cash forms of payment in Ghana, with about 96.8 billion cedis worth of it presented last year. Even though it suffered some credibility issues in the past because of various reasons, subsequent reforms and rules have accounted for its huge usage in the country presently.Currently in Ghana ,you can clears on the same day,in fact, in four (4) hours.The electronic clearing of cheques, immediately removed the undue delay in clearing of cheques and therefore the safe haven for people who used cheques to dodge payments.
Cheque clearing throughout the country has now become a two to three day affair. The automatic fine charged to the account of a payer, in the event of a dud cheque, has placed some checks on payers.
Currently in Ghana, besides the Standard cheque which takes approximately two days to clear, there is also the Express cheque which clears on the same day, in fact, in four (4) hours. The Express Cheque is a recent phenomenon but a similar service existed through a different process some time back; it was referred to as the special cheque clearing. Walk into your bank and ask for Express Cheque clearing.
The Central Bank through its wholly owned subsidiary, Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems, (GhIPSS), has also added the Express Cheque clearing, such that if you paid in a third party cheque in the morning, you had value for the cheque by afternoon of the same day. This premium service means that a cheque is as good as cash or even better.
. The option to go for either Standard or Express cheque lies with a customer and it is the customer who must make the request for an Express service which normally would attract an additional fee.
With the same electronic means, it is verified if the payer has enough funds to support the cheque issued and once that is ascertained, value is given to the cheque and the payee’s account is credited.
Let me spend these last few lines to remind ourselves on how we can make payments by cheque safer and also avoid issuing dud cheque by mistake, because the penalty applies none the less.
==>Always remember that there is no haste more important than making mistakes on your cheque leaf, so try to write as legibly as possible, to prevent anything from being altered or added.
==>Carefully complete each section of the cheque to ensure accuracy because any error could cause you undesirable delays, a rejection and possibly a fine.
==>Ensure you write the cheque amount at the very beginning of the blank line, so that, no one puts a figure in the available blank space and defraud you.
==>As much as possible, stop using faint pens so that your signature and other relevant information can be well captured electronically.
==>Always draw line through any open spaces on the cheque leaf and never sign a blank cheque. Also all voided cheques should be destroyed.
Cheques are as good as cash and so secure them as much as you would with your cash and be mindful of people close to you in the office or home, so you do not fall victim to cheque cloning.