CBN, ICAN advocate safer e-payment systems

By Stanley Opara

Thursday, 21 Oct 2010

The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria have reiterated the need for safer and seamless electronic payment systems in Nigeria.

They noted that the Nigerian economy had huge growth potential, adding that effective adoption of the e-payment system would go a long way to enhance the country‘s economic performance.

They made the observation at a workshop on “Managing Internal Control and reporting Challenges of the e-payment System” organised by ICAN in partnership with CBN in Lagos on Wednesday.

According to the Director, Banking and Payments System Department, CBN, Mr. A.S. Atoloye, who delivered the keynote address, there was the need for users and potential users of the system to upgrade their skills and knowledge especially now that operators were introducing new products and services to meet the growing demands of customers.

He admitted that the country had prevailing challenges in its e-payment system, adding that there was need for collaborative efforts among stakeholders in addressing them.

Atoloye, who was represented by Mr. Adegboyega Oyedele of the Payments System Policy and Oversight Office of the CBN, said the apex bank was on the path of realising the National Payment System Vision 2020, which aims at promoting electronic payments in the country.

He said, ”Issues of electronic payment technology, processes, internal controls, legal and reporting requirements are essential ingredients for making e-payment safe.”

Atoloye said a safe and efficient payment system would not only facilitate the exchange of goods and services among economic agents at lower costs, but could helped to integrate markets within and across regions.

”Most importantly, it enhances the effectiveness of the transmission mechanism of monetary policy and the overall financial stability of the economy,” he noted in a paper titled, “The Role of Regulatory Authorities in e-payments Systems.”

However, he maintained that a faulty payment system would hamper the successful implementation of the nation‘s monetary policy framework, causing financial instability and slow economic advancement.

Atoloye also commented on the benefits of e-payment policy for government ministries, departments and agencies, saying said it would increase transparency in payments processing, eliminate delays associated with clearance of salary/pension cheques, and also facilitate banking to the unbanked.

He said, ”The system is less cumbersome, as it eliminates the rigours of cheque writing and transportation of paper-based payment schedules and cheques. This is a more secure process, as manual posting of entitlement into beneficiaries account is completely omitted.”

However, the co-ordinator of the workshop, Chief David Alaribe, a fellow of ICAN, said in implementing the right e-payment framework, there should be wide consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Alaribe said safety and transparency should be the guiding principle considering the strategic nature of electronic transactions.

According to him, it is high time the country charted a policy path for the resolution of e-payment challenges in Nigeria.


Source: Punch

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