By Kruah Thompson
The Liberia National Payment System Initiative (LNPSI) has launched a two-day national stakeholder engagement to discuss the National Electronic Payment system in Monrovia.
The stakeholder engagement is intended for the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to be able to successfully automate large-value payments in order for commercial banks to be able to do transactions without moving about with physical cash.
Speaking to state broadcaster ELBC Tuesday, 26 October 2021, Madam Miatta Kudeh, Liberia National Payment System Initiative Director, disclosed that prior to the meeting, the CBL developed a modernized system to conduct large value transactions.
When completed, she said, the system will afford commercial banks the opportunity to transact without using physical cash.
She disclosed that the system will facilitate large value transactions from one bank to another bank, adding that they have also been able to successfully check locations on automation of the clearinghouse.
“If you deposit a check at a commercial bank, the bank must be able to scan that check and send the image to one of the banks for clearance. It’s called the check clearing process or the clearing process,” Madam Kudeh explained.
Notwithstanding the progress of the system put in place, Madam Kudeh noted that you can have a check deposited and the value of that check can be made available in your account before the close of the next business day.
However, she emphasized that because of automation, the banking sector will be transformed into a more modernized one.
With the anticipated progress in implementing the large-value payment system, Madam Kudeh said they have also not been able to complete the retail or the smaller value payment, explaining that if you have an account with company MTN for instance, you cannot seamlessly transact with somebody who has Orange money.
She pointed out that they have not provided the central infrastructure that is going to have all of them “to connect” in enabling the public to transact easily.
She said the goal is to give free access to finance under the National Financial Inclusion Strategy and it’s going to take six months to a year to put the system into place.
But said such a constraint could be addressed following the end of the stakeholder engagement meeting.–Edited by Winston W. Parley