With critical technological advances being made every day, countries are forced to augment their current systems with these developments in order to better answer the calls being made by their populace.
Over the years, several systems would have been merged with technology in order to provide effective and efficient services.
The global financial system has not been immune to these mergers.
In fact, one of the spin-offs from this hybrid, have borne fruit for countries that are grappling with corruption, money laundering, terrorism and other things that are criminal in nature.
There have been calls for the rest of the world to shift from paper to plastic and from physical to electronic transactions. These conversions in other jurisdictions, have aided law enforcement entities in carrying out their work. Guyana is seemingly getting on board with this global trend.
The Government yesterday inked a US$6M loan agreement with the World Bank through the International Development Association (IDA) to improve Guyana’s national payments system (NPS).
Finance Minister Winston Jordan, signed this agreement on behalf of the State, at his Ministry, on High Street, Georgetown.
Attending the event, were representatives the World Bank, Bank of Guyana, and the Ministry of Education.
The objective of the project is to improve Guyana’s NPS by enhancing safety and efficiency of payments.
Kaieteur News was informed that the Government of Guyana could save up to $266 million (0.04 % of GDP) annually by switching from paper-based payment mechanisms to electronic payments.
Further, the Banking System will have the capability of settling transactions across banks in real time, benefitting a wide range of consumers, including individuals and small businesses, Commercial Banks, Money Transfer Agencies and the Business Community.
Speaking to the media after the inking of the agreement, was the Director of Projects attached to the Finance Minister, Tarachand Balgobin, who explained that the project will also look at the legal and regulatory framework, the mechanisms, the policies, and the procedures associated with the switch. He noted also that this mechanism has the potential to solve the issue of security and insecurity that comes with the handling of large volumes of cash.
The inking of this agreement would come months after the country was experiencing an upsurge of ‘trailing’ robberies where bank customers would be followed and robbed.
The Guyana Police Force disbanded at least six groups in February this year, with many of the perpetrators now in jail. There would have been at least nine attacks on persons leaving commercial banks between May 2016 and January 2017.
Balgobin said yesterday also, that initially, the mechanism will be applied to the government system.
“The Ministry of Finance’s payroll, the pension scheme system, the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) etcetera…It is expected that this will roll out into the private sector in time to come,” the official said.
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