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Also of Interest...
Payment System is generally accepted as a set of money transfer arrangements that enable the circulation of money. These arrangements can be said to comprise of a number of institutions, systems operating rules, procedures and standards for processing transfers initiated by activities of the various economic agents through payments system counterparties.
Globally, Payment Systems gained its relevance with the rise in the volume and value of processed payment transactions over the past several years and the emergence of sophisticated technological solutions for processing of these transactions. Based on the impact of Payments Systems on the banking sector and the real economy, Bank of Sierra Leone, like all central banks has a close interest in its safe and efficient functioning in line with the bank’s principal functions- safeguarding confidence in the national currency and providing financial stability.
Thus the primary objective of BSL is to provide a safe, efficient, accessible, inclusive, interoperable and authorized payment and settlement systems that ensures the smooth flow of funds resulting from the activities of various economic agents.
It should be noted that Payment systems is driven by customer demands of convenience, ease of use and access and it is these factors that will urge the necessary innovations and capabilities.
Considering the importance of having a modern state-of-the-art payment and settlement system, BSL has been actively working to implement a modern payment and settlement system in Sierra Leone. The Bank in 2009 initiated action to automate its Payment and Settlement system by first establishing a Payment System Act and a Payments System Steering Committee that forms the highest policy decision making body on Payments Systems issues. With financial assistance from African Development Bank (AfDB) through the West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI), BSL in 2013 implemented the Automated Cheque Processing (ACP), Automated Clearing House (ACH), Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and Scripless Securities Settlement (SSS) systems. These systems now form the media for interbank funds transfer country wide.
This initiative has resulted in some gradual acceptance and penetration of non-cash payment modes. Cash however; continue to be the predominant mode in retail payments with retail electronic payments and acceptance of cheques also gradually picking up.