In an effort to support Guyana’s move to a cashless society, Bank of Guyana intends to implement a robust legal and regulatory framework.
It made this known in a special report that focuses on the development of Guyana’s National Payment System (NPS).
In this regard, the Bank of Guyana which prepared the report said that it will lead the NPS legal and regulatory reform effort in consultation with the payments industry participants, end-users and other payment industry stakeholders.
It said that the work in this regard will be guided by international standards and guidelines, and will be designed to achieve legal clarity, support payment finality and the efficiency of payment arrangements, facilitate innovation in the payments industry, foster an appropriate balance between competition and cooperation, protect end-users (consumers, as well as merchants and other economic entities), facilitate effective oversight, foster interoperability, implement effective risk-based AML and CFT measures, deter the fraudulent use of payment services, and enable on-going evolution of the NPS.
The Bank of Guyana also said that it intends to enact a Robust National Payment System Act (NPSA). It said that the NPSA will address all key NPS concepts, such as the finality of payments and legality of electronic signatures and documents.
The Bank said that it will ensure that it has the necessary powers to effectively oversee the NPS, including with respect to consumer protections, and clarify the roles and responsibilities of all participants in the NPS.
Bank of Guyana noted that it is currently revising its draft NPSA to ensure it covers all the key issues in an appropriate manner.
Additionally, the Central Bank intends to establish a Body of Regulations to Implement the NPSA.
It said that this body of regulations might include for example: licensing requirements, requirements for the provision of e-money, the participation of non-bank payment service providers (PSPs) and payment system operators (PSOs), changes to the regulations governing remittance services to allow the provision of electronic remittance services and prevent the use of exclusivity agreements, specific reporting requirements, and so on.
Furthermore, Bank of Guyana said that it is in the process of drafting regulations on electronic fund transfers (EFT) and NPS oversight. It said that Regulations on licensing requirements, e-money, and PSPs and PSOs are also planned.
The Bank of Guyana also stated that it intends to ensure that the legal and regulatory framework fosters competition and innovation in the retail payments industry.
Initially, the Bank said that this effort will focus on regulatory changes to recognize the legitimate role for non-bank PSPs and PSOs in the retail payments industry and enable the safe and sound participation of non-banks in the industry.
In addition, efforts will be undertaken to ensure that licensed non-banks have fair and equitable access to the nation’s payment infrastructures as they are established.
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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