Administering and monitoring of the Digital Payment Process (DPP), earlier under the purview of the Central Bank, has been handed over to a private company, Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament yesterday.
He said it was transferred to a private company known as, ‘Total Pay’ by setting up a national payment platform which is a network of payments involving all commercial banks.
‘Total Pay has placed an advertisement saying the Information Communication Technology (ICTA) permitted it to manageme the payment system,” Mr. Dissanayake said.
“ICTA CEO Mugundan Kanagay has said before that three companies had been shortlisted for the development and the maintainance of the payment platform. He said this in 2015 but however, Total Pay has been registered in 2016,” he added.
Mr. Dissanayake blamed former foreign affairs minister Ravi Karunanayake saying these changes had had taken place during his tenure as finance minister. He said Mr Karunanayake had informed the banks to contact ICTA CEO to obtain the details of the new payment platform.
Mr. Dissanayake said this had happened despite the assurance given by the former finance minister to the Cabinet that Central Bank would continue to manage and monitor this vital payment system.
“Placing the National Payment Platform under a private company may lead to money laundering” he said.
Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Harsha de Silva responded saying the management of the national payment platform was not handed over to any private company. He said Total Pay was a company shortlisted as a potential organization to inspect software involved in the payment platform.
The deputy minister said a payment platform was essential when the country was marching towards the digital era. “We have to get out of the Stone Age thinking patterns,” he said.