Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to release a memo on e-payment interoperability in the country that will mandate that banks should connect to the National Central Switch (NCS) and any other switch operating in the country.
Hence, banks that presently connected to more than one switch are by the new development to choose one of these switches and disconnect from others.
A memo signed by Mr. Tunde Lemo, CBN deputy governor, Operations would soon be made public.
However, the memo betrayed the understanding that was reached at a stakeholder’s forum hosted by CBN on June 1st, 2010 to discuss the interoperability crisis in the industry.
At the meeting where two models of interoperability were presented by the regulatory body for deliberation, it was agreed that banks must connect to the NCS while they are at liberty to connect to other switch or switches of their choice. Lemo even argued that economic of scale will determine which of the switches the banks may connect to.
It was also stated categorically that there should be no interconnectivity of switches.
The latest development did not take into cognizance the USP of each of the switches. For example, no switch processes all the payment cards in usage in the country. ValuCard processes only Visa card transactions. CTL processes only MasterCard transactions; eTranzact processes only Genesis card transactions while Interswitch processes only Verve and MasterCard transactions.