The Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has said its platform that would ensure cross-network mobile money transactions would be ready by end of February and could be launched in March.
GhIPSS had already missed a November 2017 deadline to deliver the platform, which will allow mobile money users to send and receive money from one network to the other.
Speaking to journalists in Accra, CEO of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse: “If all things go well, from our point of view, we should be ready towards the end of February but we will then tell our bosses [politicians], who may decide to launch it in March. I can give you the assurance that no matter what happens, within quarter one of 2018 we will have mobile money interoperability in Ghana,” Mr. Hesse said.
He explained: “The interoperability project would allow all the mobile money networks to be interoperable. Equally, you can move funds from your bank account to your mobile money wallet and vice versa.
And then across the e-zwich system as well. Already, there’s interoperability between the e-zwich system and the banks. But the phase one of the project will be the mobile network and the banks. Phase two is where we link the e-zwich system to it,” Mr. Hesse added.
The mobile money interoperability platform will allow consumers to transfer money across all mobile networks with ease.
Presently, 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.
Despite the massive improvements recorded in digital payments among individuals, businesses and the government, cash still remains the predominant mode of payment in terms of value and volume in the country, a new report by the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance, has shown.
The report, which was published in September last year, noted that 37percent of the GH¢571billion of payments made in 2016 were done digitally.
However, the 98.72percent of the 6.8billion payments by volume are still being made in cash.
Mr Hesse indicated that the country’s quest to achieve a cashless society is still on course given that products, services, infrastructure remain available.
“We are on the right track; we need a catalyst to speed up the reaction,” he said.