Liberia to Introduce National Payment System
Central Bank Governor, Milton A. Weeks has said that the bank is about to implement the long-awaited National Payment System Policy, which is aimed at driving the unbanked population to the banking sector.
Gov. Weeks was speaking yesterday at a resort in Monrovia and noted that the ‘payment system’ will drive the country towards an inclusive financial system and serve as a catalyst for driving an improved financial stability.
He said the system will integrate the unbanked population to the financial sector and ensure that they are recognized account holders.
The national payment system is a configuration of institutions supported by a technology-driven processes and practices to facilitate commercial and financial transfers between buyers and sellers to help break the dependency on cash and other less efficient payment methods.
Gov. Weeks added that the payment system would help customers to avoid banking hall cues; cash counting; security costs, and more.
“The savings and the positive impact that is anticipated will be phenomenal. The CBL will be helping to nudge people in that direction in 2018 with a number of initiatives. One is to apply extra charges on large cash withdrawals as a disincentive to customers making large withdrawals from banks.
“We believe that most of the large cash withdrawals could be avoided if people would only utilize the payment system. This is also intended to reduce floats and provide convenient access to cash through other electronic payment channels and finally, minimize fraud, theft, human errors and cost associated with printing checks,” Gov. Weeks said.
Gov. Weeks noted that although the payment system has its own advantages and disadvantages, the bank will not allow the process to collapse because there is a mechanism in place to avoid it.
He said: “We also look forward to all stakeholders embracing the payment system as a means of creating efficiencies that will lead to cost savings in the long run.”
Gov. Weeks also said the bank by extension spends huge amount of funds to print and import currency; distribute and collect currency.
“If we can nudge our people towards a cash-lite society, this will prove beneficial to all concerned and will significantly improve efficiencies,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gov. Weeks noted that CBL made considerable progress last year in the implementation of its financial inclusion agenda by engaging banks and non-bank financial institutions to play key roles in the digital finance space, and expanded mobile money network.