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NCC head office, Abuja

Ghana telecoms regulator beats NCC, introduces QoS regulation on mobile money

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Whereas the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is yet to come up with Quality of Service (QoS) Regulation on Mobile Money, in Ghana, the lead telecoms regulator, National Communications Authority (NCA) has realised the importance of seamless transactions on MNOs and introduced draft QoS Regulation, 2019.
Details seen by Ghana Business Hilights Bureau chief in Accra revealed that NCA drafted the regulations to drive seamless experience for subscribers living and doing their businesses on digital financial services.
Just as Schedule VI of the draft is dedicated to QoS regulation on mobile money and other digital financial service, NCA worked on the intelligence that “Mobile money is one of the major services the telecom operators have introduced since they first received their licenses 15 years ago, and there has not been any quality of service regulation for it, even though customers face some challenges accessing the service”.
NCA further averred that “Beside mobile money itself, other digital financial services have emerged, and almost all of them are linked to mobile phone numbers hence the urgent need for networks to step up QoS to limit transaction failures”.
A pip into some critical provisions of the Regulation showed that “Under Schedule VI the new draft Bill, dubbed Quality of Service Parameters For Digital Financial Service (DFS), there are three main propose regulations for digital financial services.
“The first regulation there require service providers to ensure 100 per cent money transfer success rate. It explained that money transfer success rate means the percentage of money transfers that are received by the intended recipients.
“The secondly regulation said the time between when money is transferred and when it is received by the intended recipient should not be more than five seconds.
“The third and last regulation was about failed transaction resolution time, and it said that in case of a failed transaction, the service provider had six hours from when the sending wallet was debited to resolve the problem and ensure the intended recipient’s wallet is credited.
On sanctions, the new Ghana’s QoS Regulation on Mobile Money under Schedule X, provides sanctions for all violations, and page 29 bears the specific sanctions for digital finance QoS violations.
According to the provisions, “Failure to meet the money transfer success rate and money transfer success time would attract a fine of not less than 4,200 penalty points from the defaulting operator.
However, “If an operator fails to resolve a failed transaction within the stipulated six hours, the operator would have to compensate the respective customer(s) with 4,200 penalty points for every additional hour the problem remains unresolved.
Under Fines; that is penalty units; the Regulation said “Act of year 2000, Act 572, one penalty unit is equivalent to one-third of the current minimum wage, multiplied by 30. The current minimum wage is GH¢10.65 – one-third of that is GH¢3.55 – that multiplied by 30 is GH¢106.5 – multiply that by 4,200 and the amount comes to GH¢447,300.
One of the key positions of the new rule is that out of 40 sanctionable QoS violations, 30 attract only fines that go to the NCA, while six attract only compensation to the customers who suffered the challenges, and four attract both compensation to customers and fines to the NCA. Additional fact check in Nigeria showed that only the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently came up with some kinds of regulatory framework by creating a dedicated department that will apparently regulate the activities of Financial Technology (FinTech) firms without any form of inputs from the telecoms regulator, the NCC.
Though industry stakeholders are still weighing how the CBN will without recourse to NCC drive regulation of FinTechs which drives on telecoms services, efforts to get the official views of the NCC failed due to the inability the Commission to appoint a new Director Corporate Affairs more than one month after the retirement of the last, Dr Nnamdi Nwokike.

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