Central Bank & ICTA have no legal deal with Total Pay: Harsha

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Aug 11, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s National Policies and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva told Parliament Friday that neither the Central Bank nor ICTA have signed a legal agreement with Total Pay.

Cabinet mid last year approved the introduction of a National Payment Platform (NPP) to facilitate digital commerce and online transactions.

ICTA had been directed to implement the NPP, with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka facilitating its implementation.

With NPP, all government organizations will be able to allow business and citizens to make online payment on real-time for services offered.

The cabinet also agreed that LankaClear may be able to integrate with NPP if they wish to provide payment service for government institutions.

But the JVP leader on Friday questioned why Total Pay has stated that they had been given rights for the digitalization process of the payment platform.

JVP pointed out that it will be risky to handover the operation to a private firm, as it deals with sensitive information of all citizens.

De Silva, however, emphasized that the Central Bank has not given power to ICTA with regard to the digitalization of country’s payment operations.

“No private company has been given approval to operate the NPP, and no legal agreement has signed so far with regard to this,” De Silva stressed.

“If any company says they have such power, they don’t have a legal power to say that.”

According to ICTA, eight companies initially agreed to test the NPP software, but that number reduced to three companies: Transact Lanka Private Limited, Payment Services Private Limited and Total Pay Private Limited.

However, LankaClear is currently carrying out digital operations under the supervision and approval of the Central Bank.

Owned by the Central Bank and all licensed commercial banks, LankaClear provides multiple solution offerings not only for the banking sector but also across all industries.

De Silva revealed that at the initial stage of NPP planning, LankaClear Private Limited had entered into a non disclosure agreement with ICTA.

“LankaClear, however, has not come forward as a service provider for NPP and they have not requested permission for this so far,” he said.

“Planning of NPP is still at the initial stage and all the information regarding this will be presented before the Parliament once completed.”