Sierra Leoneís Modernized Payment Systems Go Live
The Bank of Sierra Leone wishes to inform the General Public that, in line with the Governorís Commitment to enhance financial inclusion with a view to engendering inclusive economic growth, the WAMZ Payment System for Sierra Leone is now operational.This milestone achievement brings Sierra Leoneís Payment system in line with international best Practice and the most advanced systems in the Sub region
The modernization of the Payment Systems for Sierra Leone, which has been under implementation for the past three years, was funded by the African Development Bank with contributions from the Bank of Sierra Leone and all Commercial Banks in the country. The bank also received technical support from the World Bank, the Central Bank of Ghana and the West African Monetary Institute
The Modernized system replaces a manual analog system, with an electronic information technology based system that eliminates physical movements of Cheques from Commercial Banks to the Clearing House at the Bank of Sierra Leone. With the new Payment Systems the payee will receive payment within two days regardless of where the cheque was issued instead of three days for In-town cheques and ten days for those from the provinces prior to modernization.
The components that make up the new system include, the Temenos (T24) Core Banking Application (CBA) , the Real Time Gross Settlement component, the Scriptless Security Settlement System, and the Automated cheque processing /Automated Clearing House systems (ACP/ACH).The ACP/ACH process paper instruments (mainly cheques) on a real times bases, The Real time Gross Settlement (RTGS) enables a continuous (real-time) settlement of funds or securities transfers individually or on an order by order basis (without netting) and the SSS processes Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds transactions between the commercial banks and the Bank of Sierra Leone on a real time basis.
To assure continuity of the Systemís Backbone and mitigate against interruptions due to power failure or disaster of what ever nature, the system has a state of the art Disaster Recover Site built away from the Bank Of Sierra Leone with the same critical component as the infrastructure installed at the main server room. An army of batteries to compliment the standby generators are also installed at the Bank of Sierra Leone and the Disaster Recovery Site to guarantee continuous and uninterrupted supply of electricity .
In addition to the reduction in time it now takes banks to clear cheques drawn on each other, financial market participants can now rely on the timely receipt of funds for all transactions The Bank of Sierra Leone can now collate payment systems data electronically, use same in their monetary policy operations and guide against exposure of its stakeholders to financial risks.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.