THE Central Bank has launched the national payments system development programme at a seminar hosted in association with the Institute of National Affairs (INA).
In a statement, Bank of PNG (BPNG) Governor Loi Bakani said: “This programme will see the introduction of a number of key elements that will significantly improve the safety and efficiency of the payments system in Papua New Guinea.
“The first element is an automated transfer system (ATS), which will provide real time electronic clearing and settlement of all interbank payments the ATS will bring significant benefits to everyone in PNG.
“Not only will it work towards the elimination of risk, it will encourage banks and other financial institutions to introduce a range of new and innovative services,” he said.
Mr Bakani said with the introduction of direct debits and credits, the system will allow people to make payments to businesses or service providers, “irrespective of who they bank with”.
He said BPNG is also introducing a central securities depository that would hold BPNG and Government issued securities such as Central Bank bills, treasury bills and inscribed stock.
“This system will make the purchase of securities much more efficient by giving on line access to approved dealers, and encourage a secondary market for trading of these securities”.
Mr Bakani said the reform to the payments system included the creation of a National Payments Council (NPC), a body representing the wider interests of the financial sector.
He noted that it is essential when introducing such wide-ranging reforms that the financial community, and others affected by the changes are fully consulted and involved.
The NPC will provide oversight and guidance to BPNG during the course of implementing the programme, Mr Bakani said.