CB’s Digital Payments System under review

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By 2017-08-12

Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake alleged in Parliament yesterday that the management and monitoring of the digital payment system overseen earlier by the Central Bank had been transferred to a private company.

His statement came in raising a question under Standing Order 23/2. MP Dissanayake alleged that the transfer was done through the development of a National Payment Platform. "The development and management of this National Payment Platform, which is a network of payment among all commercial banks, has been placed under the purview of a company named Total Pay. Total Pay is running advertisements claiming that the Information Communication Technology Agency had given the company authority to manage the digital payment system. The ICTA CEO Mugundan Kanagay has stated before that three companies have been shortlisted for the development and maintenance of the Payment Platform. This was mentioned by him in the year 2015. However, Total Pay has been registered only in 2016," Dissanayke said. He then went on to criticize MP Ravi Karunanayake, claiming that the transfer was carried out during his tenure as the Minister of Finance. "Placing the National Payment Platform under a private company could lead to money laundering" Dissanayake stressed. In response to the allegations levelled by the Chief Opposition Whip, Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Harsha De Silva, said that the management of the payments platform had not been handed over to the private company. The Deputy Minister pointed out that Total Pay was only shortlisted as a possible entity to review software of the payment platform. "A digital payment platform is essential at a time the country is moving forward towards the digital era. We have to get out of the stone-age mind-set" the Deputy Minister said. (PA)

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