Central Banks in East Africa move towards more financial integration

Jan 28, 2013

Central Banks in East Africa are testing a new cross border payment system in a bid to strengthen financial integration in the region.

Central Banks in East Africa are testing a new cross border payment system in a bid to strengthen financial integration in the region.

Central Bank of Kenya's head of national payment systems Stephen Nduati said that trials of the Real Time Gross Settlement system are currently underway within EAC member states - with the exception of Burundi.

"We have moved a step closer to making business transactions faster across the region through quicker delivery of paperless payments," said Mr Nduati during a workshop on payment infrastructure in Kenya, quoted by The Star.

"In Kenya we want to make cheque clearance a single day process down from the current two days."

He added that the long term goal is to interlink commercial banks in the Comesa region to facilitate trade growth through faster movement of money.

Regional financial integration offers many benefits to African economies.

It can increase competition and innovation, reduce inefficiencies in lending given a wider pool of bankable projects and expand opportunities for risk diversification.

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