Saturday, September 23, 2023
NewsFive African banks onboard Pan-African payment highway

Five African banks onboard Pan-African payment highway

Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS)

Five major African banking groups have signed agreements to integrate the new Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) into their operations. It is a system that allows the banks to transact across borders using their own local currencies. PAPSS is the brain child of Afrexim Bank.

Access Bank Group, Ecobank Group, KCB Group, Standard Bank Group, and UBA Group inked Memorandums of Understanding with PAPSS on June 19 at the opening ceremony of Afreximbank’s 30th Anniversary in Accra, Ghana.

Pan-African Payments and Settlement System -  PAPSS

PAPSS aims to revolutionize cross-border payments across Africa by leveraging the vast networks of partner banks. The agreements are a “monumental step” towards fulfilling the vision of seamless cross-border trade payments across the nearly 40 African countries covered by the five bank groups.

Adopting PAPSS’s platform will help streamline operations, provide a secure and advanced payment system, and empower businesses, according to Mike Ogbalu III, PAPSS CEO.

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Under the MoUs, the bank groups will work closely with PAPSS to integrate the system into their platforms, facilitate settlements, enroll fintech partners, and expand PAPSS access through their digital channels.

Being able to transact across borders using local currencies will significantly reduce costs and foreign exchange risks for African businesses and traders.

Afreximbank President Benedict Oramah said the agreements bring Africa “closer to domesticating cross-border payments by enabling payments for cross-border trade in African currencies.”

Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area, hailed the deals as “a bold step towards fully operationalizing PAPSS for the benefit of African traders and SMEs.”

The MoUs will be implemented gradually in partnership with central banks, and customers will be notified through usual bank communication channels when PAPSS services become available in their countries. The banks aim to make the service available by the end of the year.

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