The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), has rescheduled the implementation of the mobile money interoperability to next month (February, 2018).
This comes after missing the initial November 2017 deadline.
The CEO of GhIPSS, Mr. Archie Hesse who disclosed this new date to Citi Business News said the necessary processes for all the service providers, that is, banks and telecom operators have since been completed hence the optimism this time around.
According to him, the delay has been due to the inability of the telecom companies to hook unto the operating platform needed for the interoperability which was not initially envisaged.
“The web services side of the integration by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) was completed in no time but when it came to their integration unto the ISO service, they struggled a bit. Though there was one MNO who was getting close after a long time. So when we realized that was the situation which we didn’t envisage before, we developed a web services ISO converter; so the MNOs do no longer require that development they can now ride on that development in our environment,” he explained.
The GhIPSS boss could however not tell when exactly the process will be going live as that largely depended on the supervisors of the whole project, presumably the office of the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
“We have completed it, now the MNOs are connecting to it and testing begins that is why we are confident that we should be able to go live February ending; we should be able to launch it anytime in February. But the actual date will depend on our bosses,” he added.
Mobile money interoperability
The mobile money interoperability platform will allow consumers to transfer money across all mobile networks with ease.
Currently, conducting mobile money transfers from one network to another is impeded due to the absence of a common system to switch through easily.
This has also partly accounted for the relatively high cost in such a transaction compared to transferring money to another on the same network.
The project also forms part of the government’s plan to drive financial inclusion and reduce the number of unbanked population in Ghana.
Gov’t cancels Sibton Switch’s contract
The mobile money interoperability contract was first awarded to Sibton Switch which had quoted 4.6 billion cedis to carry out the mandate.
The criticism by industry watchers among others, led to the cancellation of the contract by government and handed over to GhIPSS.
It is estimated that GhIPSS is carrying out the same mandate at a cost of 4 million cedis.