The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPPS), Mr Frederick France, has dismissed suggestions that private electronic payment service providers are being prevented from carrying out their operations.
"It is not true that GHIPPS is preventing the private switch providers from the market. Our task is to enable the payments systems to develop and improve. We are market players in so far as we are helping to improve the system," he said.
Mr France was reacting to impressions among private switch providers that GHIPPS was taking over their business by playing the role of the regulator and market player.
He said GHIPPS was not in competition with any institutions nor banks, saying GHIPPs could be seen as market players only in the establishment of the electronic switch platform.
"We have as customers, the banks, and we do not have individual customers so how can we be accused of interfering in the market?" Mr France asked.
He said the switch that GHIPPS had provided was to link the entire banking system and to help improve interbank settlements, adding that, this did not prevent the switch providers to have their own deals with the respective banks.
"We have a legal responsibility under the Payments Systems Act to discharge that mandate and this is exactly what we are doing."
He also dismissed suggestions of GHIPPS being profit-oriented, saying the motivation of the Central bank in setting up the institution was to ensure that the payment platform was broadened for all stakeholders.
Mr France said the Central Bank had to introduce the biometric smartcard as a way of deepening financial intervention and to rope in those who do have bank accounts in the society and also to mop up money outside the banking sector.
It is in this connection that the bank introduced the smart card to allow all the banks to use the platform and to bridge the banking gap so that all Ghanaians can enjoy banking services, irrespective of their geographical location.
Mr Yoku Korsah, Chief Operating Officer GHIPPS, said the private switch providers must see GHIPPS as a partner in their line of business, saying, the platform was to assist in expanding the market.
"Indeed, nobody is being blocked to pursue its line of business. While the Central Bank encourages healthy competition, this must be managed and regulated," he added.