The Aflao Sector Commander of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Mr Evans Klutse,on Thursday, advised the business community to use the banks in cross border payments, to avoid losses through theft, armed robbery and accidents.
"The business community needs to use the banks for cross border payments in line with emerging risk, so as to safeguard loans and investments.
" Mr Klutse was addressing a seminar, organized by the Ghana Shippers Authority, (GSA), in collaboration with the United Bank of Africa (UBA) at Aflao.
The seminar discussed the safest, secured and appropriate means of transferring funds for purposes of international trade transactions.
The Participants, mainly shippers, drivers, business people, freight forwarders and staff of CEPS, were also briefed on "Africash and Fund Management," a money transfer scheme being operated by the UBA.
Mr Klutse, who is an Assistant Commissioner of CEPS, reiterated the need for a speedy introduction of the Eco (the proposed common currency for ECOWAS countries), to help offset the difficulties traders go through in exchanging currencies, to speed up the integration of the economies of the sub-region.
Mr Eric Abban, UBA Branch Manager, Aflao, who took participants through the operation of the Africash, said the bank currently operates in 21 African countries, including Ghana, where it has 26 branches and in Nigeria, its headquarters, which has over 800 branches.
He said UBA provides a unique opportunity for traders in the transfer of moneys from one country to another for their transactions.
He said the scheme operates on a fixed commission of GHC20 on any amount of money transferred, while transfers must be supported with trade transaction documents.
Mr Abban said under a Bank of Ghana regulation, Africash allows a person to transfer up to GHC10,000 within a year, without the support of business transaction documents.
Mrs Naa Densua Aryeetey, the Tema branch Manager of Shippers Authority said, Ghana's eastern corridor at Aflao is an important point of entry, in view of the volume of business it carries, for which reason, the Shippers Authority was interested in creating the right environment, to smoothen shipping and trading activities there.
Participants identified differences in the exchange rates between financial institutions and the private dealers as one of the reasons why traders shun the banks.