BoN launches instant payment project

Martin Endjala

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) on Friday launched the Instant Payment Project initiative that is set to revolutionise financial services across Namibia.

The BoN Governor, Johannes !Gawaxab said the project aims to introduce an instant payment solution that is efficient, instantly accessible and designed for inclusivity.

“The project aims to significantly broaden financial inclusion by providing essential and affordable financial services to all whilst focusing on the rural and informal sectors which face logistical and financial challenges in accessing conventional banking services,” he said

The targeted rollout is 2025.

!Gawaxab explained that the platform will be accessible from any device, including non-smartphones, ensuring that everyone, including street vendors and taxi drivers, pensioners and small business owners, can use it effortlessly.

This innovation, he said, is particularly beneficial for those who may not have access to sophisticated banking services or the financial means to handle traditional banking fees.

“Despite the remarkable achievements recorded to date in the execution of the financial sector strategy, as evidenced by high levels of broad financial inclusion estimated at around 78.1% of the population, segments of our population remain underserved and unserved,” he pointed out.

!Gawaxab further explained that the project will modernise the financial sector, and ensure a secure and efficient National Payment System (NPS), in alignment with the bank’s strategic plan and NPS vision and strategy 2025.

He also announced that the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises has approved the establishment of an independent special-purpose vehicle tasked with implementing the instant payment project in partnership with Namclear.

Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, the deputy minister of finance and public enterprises, said the initiative is pivotal in promoting accessibility, literacy, and consumer protection.

“The initiative extends the availability and equality of opportunities for all Namibians to access affordable financial services, whether they reside in rural or urban settings.

“It also includes measures to educate citizens, enabling them to make informed financial decisions and effectively interact with digital financial services. Accordingly, consumer education is essential to ensure national acceptance of the instant payment solution,” she added.

She said long-term sustainability involves constructing a system that is resilient, scalable,

and capable of evolving with technological progress and the changing needs of the market.

Hinda stressed that by embracing this initiative, BoN will not only enhance efficiency and transparency but also foster a more inclusive and resilient financial ecosystem for the prosperity of all.

She called on stakeholders including banks and non-banks to integrate the instant payment solution into their products and services and ensure that they are accessible, affordable and safe.

In 2023, BoN embarked on an exploratory journey to identify solutions that could be adapted to the Namibian context to foster the uptake of affordable, fast, and efficient payment services.

This exploration was a part of BoN’s 2022-2024 strategic plan, focusing specifically on enhancing financial services in rural areas and the informal sector, thereby reducing cash dependency, and increasing transactional efficiency.

Related Posts