THE use of East Africa Payment System (EAPS) is picking up as traders and commercial banks in the
EAC member states launched an integrated real-time cross-border payments system on
And with the thriving cross-border trade, prospects are high that the upward trend on the use of the system will be maintained. "The new integrated payment system has been well received by traders.
We see transactions picking up since it was launched," the
The new system is currently operational between
It operates on a real time gross settlement basis by utilising the linkage between the various Partner States' Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) systems using SWIFT (
The system works in the same way as the central banks' RTGS, which allows for the movement of cash between different banks and branches and is increasingly being used in the region in place of cheques.
However, it has a cross-border functionality to simplify transactions and reduce the cost incurred in payments in commissions and other charges during cross-border money transfers.
According to Ms Kinunda,
Ms Kinunda said records show transactions to and from
"We see the enthusiasm among commercial banks and traders building up as it facilitate intra-regional trade by reducing costs and risks in money transfers across border," she said.
Since it began operations, EAPS has enabled people in
"It is more convenient to users and it is real time based. Cross-border transfers take from one to two days," she said. The new system is part of a larger plan by the EAC economies to integrate their money and capital markets and has been under development for over a year.
It uses local currencies of East African countries -- the Kenya Shilling, Tanzania Shilling and Uganda Shilling. It has so far proved to be a secure, effective and efficient funds transfer mechanism that enhances efficiency and safety of payments and settlement within the region.
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