The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has disclosed that the new interoperability system to be rolled out by the Bank of Ghana in November 2017, will cost the country less than $4 million.
The system when rolled out, will enable customers to transfer money easily across various networks. It will be managed by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).
Speaking at the University of Cape Coast during the institution’s Institutional Advancement Lecture on Wednesday, Dr. Bawumia said: “There were many people who were offering similar solutions, but thankfully, the Bank of Ghana in collaboration with GhIPSS has finally been able to solve this problem and the interoperability system for Ghana will be launched next month.”
“What is even more remarkable about what has happened is that, again, a lot of people were quoting billions of dollars, but by the way, this system has now been built for less than $4 million dollars,” he added.
This new amount is a sharp contrast to an earlier $4.6 billion contract awarded to Sibton Switch Systems earlier this year by the BoG to undertake the same the project.
The Sibtons Switch deal, was however abandoned, after revelations about it caused a lot of dissatisfaction among stakeholders, industry players as well as the general public.
The mobile money interoperability forms part of efforts to drive the government’s financial inclusion agenda.
This is also the third of three pillars that the Vice President believes will drive the NPP’s economic growth agenda.
The two include a robust national database with an effective identification system as well as a national digital address system.
Dr. Bawumia said the Akufo-Addo administration is striving to ensure value for money in every transaction that it undertakes.
“We have to protect the public purse and that allows to build our productive capacity.”
He said the introduction of the interoperability of payment system in the financial sector will allow for a more inclusive financial system.
“Having an interoperable payments system between banks, mobile operators and other financial and non-financial sector players enables people to make payments to anyone else in a convenient, affordable, fast, seamless and secure way with one account.”
He added that: “Payments for our buying and selling will be made far easier throughout the country. Interoperability is key to financial inclusion. Thankfully, Ghana will launch an interoperable payment system in November this year.”
Citi FM petitions government
Citi FM was one of the organisations that petitioned government through the Vice President to review the earlier deal, which the station considered exhorbitant.