By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE Bank of Zambia (BoZ) says it is expanding the reach and accessibility of its payment systems, promoting financial inclusion, and enhancing security features.
This is part of its commitment to develop a modern, efficient, and reliable payments infrastructure that will support innovation, commerce, financial market growth, and effective monetary policy transmission.
This is according to the BoZ National ICT Survey Assistant Director, Payment Systems Oversight, Muuka Madubeko, as quoted in the latest central bank journal, the Zambanker.
Mr Madubeko said the BoZ planned to facilitate the expansion of the coverage of participants to include more financial institutions and payment service providers, which will increase the reach and usage of the national financial switch.
“These initiatives are expected to improve the efficiency and speed of payment transactions in Zambia and contribute to the country’s economic growth and development.
“Specifically, the bank plans to increase the number of participants in its payment systems, introduce new payment channels such as QR codes, integrate with other payment systems in the region, and continue to enhance the security features of its platforms,” he said.
These initiatives, he explained, would help to reduce reliance on cash and promote the use of formal financial services, which were essential for economic growth and development.
Mr Madubeko said BoZ was committed to working with stakeholders to ensure that the country’s payments infrastructure is able to meet the needs of the country’s growing economy.
On the introduction of new payment channels, he said there were plans to introduce new payment channels, such as QR Codes to increase the accessibility of the system and encourage more people to use fast payments.
Mr Madubeko also said there were plans to integrate the switch with other payment systems in the region to facilitate cross-border payments and trade.
“In the region we have the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Transactions Cleared on an Immediate Basis (TCIB) system for retail payments across the region. There are plans to integrate with this infrastructure in future,” he said.