NEWS

Parliament to Approve National Switch

Fiji’s National Switch will be approved in Parliament next week. This was confirmed by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the opening of the BRED Bank branch in Valelevu in
04 Feb 2017 11:00
Parliament to Approve National Switch
BRED Bank (Fiji) chief executive officer Frederic Reynaud, with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama unveiling BRED Bank Valelevu Branch plaque at the opening yesterday. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

Fiji’s National Switch will be approved in Parliament next week.

This was confirmed by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the opening of the BRED Bank branch in Valelevu in Suva yesterday.

The National Switch Bill, (also considered the Interchange Payments Network), is a legislation that will place the payment services of all banks in Fiji on the same interchange network, he said.

“So whether they bank with ANZ, Westpac, BRED Bank or any bank in the country, Fijians can withdraw funds from any bank’s ATM at a minimal cost,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“Our banks won’t have to individually build ATMs but share these costs and focus their efforts and resources they can provide to ordinary Fijians.”

Mr Bainimarama said electronic transactions would also be curb the black economy and enable every Fijian to enjoy the ease and security of such financial transactions.

“Once this becomes law, I urge all Banks and agencies that disburse funds to get on board as a matter of urgency, and to show their commitment to fostering a more inclusive financial sector in Fiji.

“Fiji has also recently joined the United Nations “Better than Cash” Alliance, an international organisation committed to accelerating the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth.”

Mr Bainimarama said they had introduced a groundbreaking digital platforms.

These are for social welfare, pension payments and lease payments to the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) which are now undergoing banking through electronic means.

“I am very proud that Fiji has committed to increasing access to our formal financial sector to 85 per cent of our adult population by 2020,” Mr Bainimarama said.

Confidence

He acknowledged BRED Bank’s confidence in continuing to invest here.

“Your investment in this new branch and your recognition that Fiji is on the right path, that we are becoming a more prosperous country and that my Government has a clear and consistent way forward for our national development.”

BRED Bank, regional manager – Pacific Darryl Constantin said: “It is a momentous occasion for BRED as we officially open our sixth branch in Valelevu.”

He urged Fijians to take advantage of their services.

This is the sixth branch of BRED Bank in Fiji. It has about 120,000 Fijian customers and nearly 1000 businesses and 18 ATMs, to date.

Mr Constantin said they would continue to invest.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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