BANK of Zambia (BoZ) is expected to implement the first phase of the National Financial Switch (NFS) project to interconnect all banks in electronic payment by the end of this year.
The NFS project is being undertaken by the Zambia Electronic Clearing House Limited (ZECHL), which is expected to increase financial inclusion and lower transaction costs.
In an interview recently, BoZ assistant director banking currency and payments Mirriam Kamuhuza said the central bank is currently working with operators and is in the process of implementing NFS.
“Update on NFS, we are working on it. The operators are in the fields. We are in the process of implementing it, we are also working with banks and hope phase one can be implemented this year or early next year,” Ms Kamuhuza said.
She said NFS will be a key technology platform to promote the development of digital finance services in Zambia and facilitate for interoperability for the various financial service providers, including mobile payments.
Interoperability is the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information.
She also said BoZ is drafting the national financial strategy document to increase financial inclusion in Zambia.
Ms Kamuhuza said the central bank has collaborated with the Ministry of Finance, the World Bank and other stakeholders in drafting the document.
She said the document streamlines the policy objectives which stakeholders will prioritise to increase financial inclusion in Zambia.
“The national strategy we are working with the Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders so that we have a greater impact in terms of increasing financial inclusion. We hope it will be launched.