When it comes to the National Payment System (NPS) in Guyana, there is no dedicated team that is in place to monitor key challenges and trends. This is according to a crucial Bank of Guyana Report which focuses on how a modernized plan will soon be implemented.
The report states that oversight on the current National Payment System in Guyana is limited and diffused across several departments. The Bank of Guyana report went further to state that it lacks a dedicated team to monitor developments in the payments sector, address challenges and drive reform.
It stressed that there are no formal arrangements or a structure to coordinate and implement the oversight function. The Bank of Guyana report said that various departments of the entity conduct specific functions. These include the supervision of certain infrastructure or market segments.
In this regard, the document explains that the Banking Division operates and oversees the National Cheque Clearing House (NCCH) and the Operations and Bank Supervision Departments oversee the remittance market and licensed Money Transfer Agents (MTA).
The report goes on to state that the oversight role of a Central Bank typically derives from its responsibility to foster the efficient and reliable functioning of the nation’s payment mechanisms.
As such, the role typically encompasses a range of activities. These include the monitoring of payment systems and payment service providers, analysis of trends and developments in the NPS, the development of NPS policy, rules and regulations, the collection and analysis of data related to payments, and the development and modernization of the NPS.
The National Payment System strategy which was released by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan consists of four chapters and five annexes.
Chapter One examines the current state of payment in Guyana. It notes that the Bank of Guyana is the institution responsible for payments. Be that as it may, the document makes clear that there is need to upgrade the laws, regulations and infrastructure for a safe, efficient and modern payment system.
The chapter analyses the role of the main players in the current payments arrangement.
Chapter Two examines how the Bank will lead the development of the NPS Strategy. It defines the role of a National Payment System as a series of layers in an inverted pyramid in which each layer is supported by layers beneath it.
Chapter Three explores Guyana’s vision to build a safe, robust, sound, efficient and inclusive payment system that meets the current and future needs of the economy. It proposes the year 2030 as a realistic target for full realization of the NPS vision. However, in the medium term it proposes a 2017-2021 action plan as a first phase on achieving that vision.
The fourth chapter concludes with a highlight of the 2017 – 2021 NPS Development Strategy and plan of actions. The Strategy also has attached five annexes.
The preparation of the payment strategy has been a joint effort of the Bank of Guyana and a team from the World Bank. A preliminary draft of the strategy was issued to stakeholders for their comments in August 2016.
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