The Star (Nairobi)

24 January 2013

East Africa: Region's Central Banks to Integrate Payment Systems

Central Banks in East Africa are testing a new cross border payment systems aimed integrating money transfer systems in the region.

Central Bank of Kenya's head of national payment system Stephen Nduati said with the exception of Burundi the other EAC member states countries are on a trial stage of the Real Time Gross Settlement ahead of the integration.

"We have moved a step closer to making business transitions faster across the region through quicker delivery of paperless payments," Nduati said "In Kenya we want to make cheque clearance a single day process down from the current two days".

He said the plan is to eventually interlink commercial banks in the Comesa region to facilitate growth of trade through faster movement of money.

Nduati was speaking at a workshop convened to explore ways enhancing efficiency of payments infrastructure in Kenya, based on findings of a research on national payment systems by MasterCard advisers.

The research concluded that difficulties in sharing of infrastructure among banks greatly contributes to limitations in money transfer channels.

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