National Payment Systems Bill aims to build robust payment system – Min. Jordan

─ current legislation inadequate, fails to address key provisions

─ this bill is geared towards developing a sound, safe and efficient national payment system

DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 13, 2018

The enactment of the National Payments System Bill 2018 aims to develop a modern payment system infrastructure that will promote public confidence and meet international standards.

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, today made these comments in the National Assembly as the Bill was read for the second time.

The Bank of Guyana will be afforded the necessary authority to ensure effective oversight of the national payment system.

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan

Efforts to reform the national payment system, the minister said, commenced four years ago with assistance from the World Bank working collaboratively with companies including the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC), two remittance companies and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

This collaboration provided a high-level overview of the national payment system and the context within which reforms would be carried out, he posited.

The World Bank then proposed and undertook a one -year detailed study of the payment systems in Guyana, which concluded that the move towards electronic payments will save Guyana some $6.5 billion annually.

Minister Jordan said a reform of the national payment system is particularly relevant since Guyana’s cash-based economy has led to a number of incidents of crime, citing several incidents at the commercial banks.

The current legislation, he noted, is inadequate and fails to address key provisions, however this bill is geared towards developing a sound, safe and efficient national payment system.

Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma reminded the Opposition that the Bank of Guyana will not be revoking licenses of cambios and other financial agencies “willy nilly” but will have to present suitable grounds to do so, as catered for in the Bill.

Guyana, he noted, is moving towards advanced payment methods since it falls short of meeting the financial needs of citizens.

Movement in this direction, the minister, said will reduce the cost of exchanging notes.

The lack of an efficient national payment system, he pointed out, impedes the ability of commercial banks to provide adequate services to their clients.

By: Stacy Carmichael

Images: Keno George

 

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