Business News Wed, 12 Apr 2017

GhIPSS likely to provide interoperability for telcos

Citi Business News has gathered that the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), may be awarded the contract to develop an interoperable platform for telecom operators in the country.

This is however subject to the efficacy of GhIPSS’s options to government in operating an interoperable platform for the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

The move also comes on the back of a botched contract involving Sibton Switch Systems which had been selected to carry out the mandate.

Currently, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has tasked GhIPSS to within six months, submit a roadmap on developing an interoperable platform for the telcos.

“Currently if you are on MTN mobile money, you can work within the MTN sphere. The role of GhIPSS is to ensure that we have interoperability; so you could have MTN and be able to pay someone on Tigo cash so interconnecting all the platforms and making them platform neutral,” CEO of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse told Citi Business News.

“We were given six months so we intend to achieve that target,” he added.

When successful, customers should be able to send money across all networks with less hustle.

Mr. Archie Hesse further intimated to Citi Business News he is hopeful the completion of the project should help in attaining cashless economy.

Sibton Switch wins bid with 4.6 billion cedis.

Documents cited by Citi Business News early this year indicated 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 was 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

But the development drew many criticisms from players in the telecom space.

Some argued that the move was side stepping GhIPSS which already operates an interoperable platform for banks.

Others also questioned the basis for a new company when some platforms were already giving similar opportunities to consumers.

Sibton Switch defends contract

At the time, the company’s Manager, Keiko Wantanabe explained that 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.”

But the Vice President has since ordered the suspension of the deal and tasked that GhIPSS draws a roadmap in attaining an interoperable platform for the MNOs.

Source: citifmonline.com