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Fiji Interchange Network: An important development in our Banking System

  The Reserve Bank of Fiji sees an implementation of Fiji Interchange Network (sometimes referred to as a National Switch) as an important development in our financial system. The central
03 Mar 2016 15:19
Fiji Interchange Network: An important development in our Banking System
From left : RBF Chief Manager Financial System Development Vereimi Levula, Government Whip Ashneel Sudhakar,RBF Governor Barry Whiteside,Opposition Member of Parliament Ratu Sela Nanovo, RBF Deputy Governor Ariff Ali,Member of Parliament Balminder Singh and RBF Manager Legal Wati Seeto yersterday. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

 

The Reserve Bank of Fiji sees an implementation of Fiji Interchange Network (sometimes referred to as a National Switch) as an important development in our financial system.

The central bank made its submission to the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights on the Fiji Interchange Network (Payments) Bill 2016 yesterday.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank, Mr Barry Whiteside said: “Such a network is designed to allow the many forms of payment systems we currently have operating in Fiji, and which we may develop in the future, to electronically link to each other through one national medium.”

Visa credit card or MasterCard, MPaisa, and DigiMoney are payment systems.

Debit cards are similar to payment systems designed for their customers by the banks.

The Reserve Bank of Fiji operates a payment system only for the commercial banks called FIJICLEAR.

The system allows the banks to electronically clear or settle their balances of a large value with each other and with the RBF on a real time basis.

“The plastic cards such as Jack’s, Tappoos, Prouds and Flash & Gain are cash equivalent and help a customer redeem the points so yes they ought to be under the current bill.

“There’s a certain fee charged for using another’s bank machine, that’s the interchange fee and it will be maintained even after the bill is passed,” he said.

The Reserve Bank is responsible for the soundness of Fiji’s financial system. Mr Whiteside said: “Since payments systems form an integral part of the financial system, RBF has the necessary powers to approve, monitor and regulate the various payments systems.”

Fiji Interchange Network will be initially funded by the Government but later on, self- funding will be done by the authorities in charge.

This step of Fiji Interchange Network has been taken by Reserve Bank after seeing the statistics of 22 million electronic transactions in a year and 3 million interchange transactions.

Mr Whiteside said the banks necessarily did not have to set up the machines as other generic machines could be put out by cash-handling companies in the future. The benefit of the proposed National Switch or Interchange is that it will not limit access to customers of certain banks only.

“By virtue of the proposed law, all banks will be required to link in, enabling their card holders to draw cash or payments from any ATM or POS machine throughout  Fiji,” Mr Whiteside said.

The Association of Banks in Fiji tabled their submissions later in the afternoon.

Feedback:  aatika.patel@fijisun.com.fj

 




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