S/Leone to amalgamate financial transfer systems

The financial authorities in Sierra Leone are working to harmonize the country`s payment system in terms of monetary transfers, a bank official said on Monday.

Alfred Sama, Assistant Director and head of payment at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB), the largest commercial bank in the country, said the creation of a National [Financial] Switch is aimed at establishing a new specialized management system for electronic cash transfers.

In addition, the banks are to incorporate mobile money transfers in the mainstream banking system, said Sama, adding that the move is to cut down on the huge cost involved in running ATM machines individually by banks.
Customers have complained about recurrent breakdown in the machines and other problems. Sama attributed this to the cost of running the machines.

He said the new system will see the creation of a specialized agency which will run exclusively all financial transfers in the country.

“One of the main benefits is that it will reduce long queues in the banks,” he stated.
The announcement comes a week after the [central] Bank of Sierra Leone introduced new guidelines for mobile banking.