Dear Editor – I refer to the article in the Star on Monday 10th February 2014 announcing the launching of Westpac Banks’ Mobile Banking Service.
Congratulations to Westpac on the successful launch of this new product.
However, the reason for my letter is to add support to the comments made by the Governor of the Central Bank during his speech at the launching on the subject of Interchange for Electronic Banking.
As the Manager of a wholesale/retail business in Honiara we would also like to see the interchange issues between the 3 commercial banks resolved as soon as possible.
We currently have 5 outlets and it would not be practical to support 15 EFTPOS terminals in our shops as well as maintain a separate bank account with each bank to facilitate settlement of the EFTPOS transactions.
Some outstanding issues may relate to technical matters such as switches and compatible banking systems, but I also understand that the banks cannot resolve the matter of interchange fees.
For debit and credit card transactions over an electronic banking network the acquiring or merchants’ bank charge their customers a fee which includes the interchange fee that the acquiring bank will pay the cardholder or card issuing bank.
Generally the issuing bank will only pay the acquiring bank a fee for ATM cash withdrawals and these are to offset the cost of maintaining the machine.
Perhaps the Central Bank could intervene and set the fee structure if the banks cannot resolve the impasse amongst themselves.
We have waited too long now for an integrated electronic banking network in Solomon Islands.