Sibton Switch Systems has defended the 4. 6 billion cedis cost for the establishment of an interoperable platform for mobile money transactions in Ghana.
According to the company, the quality and extent of services provided for by the platform, guaranteed its selection by the Bank of Ghana.
“It’s a long term infrastructure; it’s a retail payment system that does not just cover one party which will be interoperability for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). It cuts across the entire retail payment systems; it comes with MNOs, banks, aggregators, merchants among others,” of Sibton Switch systems, Keiko Wantanabe explained on the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday.
She added, “If we believe that this amount is what is going to get us this infrastructure, then we’re investing this amount into it.”
Sibton Switch wins contract
Documents cited by Citi FM indicate that Sibton Switch systems will be in charge of the interoperability platform for telecom operators effective March 2017.
The company was selected from three institutions that submitted tenders to provide interoperability services for mobile network operators in the country.
Sibton Switch’s amount; GH¢ 4,669,414,340.82 is relatively higher than the other two institutions that expressed interest in the contract.
The other two were; Vals Intel Limited and Mericom Solutions Limited which quoted GH¢14, 094,795.00 and GH¢ 5,465,396.06 respectively.
Telecom operators unhappy
Telecom operators have opposed the move to get an institution to harmonize the interoperability platform within the financial space.
According to the telecom players, there are already existing platforms for interoperability in the mobile money space.
Some industry watchers have also expressed dissatisfaction with the Bank of Ghana’s decision to outsource the deal to an external entity.
They argue that the move demonstrates a side-stepping of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) which currently operates a similar interconnected payment platform for banks in the country.
Keiko Wantanabe could however not readily disclose how much the services will cost the respective players within the chain.
“We setting up the platform itself reduces cost. The role we play is not a onetime fee that is being imposed on participants…over a period of time, whatever investment that we are putting in will be realized but gradually,” she stated.
BoG must clarify issues
The Bank of Ghana is yet to make an official statement on the matter.
But ahead of that, some analysts in the financial sector believe the central bank’s position should bring all uneasiness to rest.
“It is confusing as to whether or not the amount is going to be a payment by the Bank of Ghana, …typically the hub is not paid by the facilitator but generally they make some kind of switch feed on the platform that they facilitate,” Digital financial services consultant, Kwame Oppong said on the Citi Breakfast Show.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana