Fiji will become a cashless society in the not too distant future, this after the national payment system bill was passed in parliament today.
Minister for Local Governments Premila Kumar said the national payment system bill was an important bill designed to ensure Fiji’s banking, payments and securities systems effectively respond to the ongoing evolution in modern payment practices across the globe.
Kumar said the current tech-savvy generation is driving demand for a quick, seamless, personalized, and better national payment system.
She said this has led to many countries around the globe trying to develop and implement modernised real-time payment systems with the ultimate vision to drive change from traditional payment systems such as cheques, credit, debit, prepaid, and the like.
She said the transition can contribute to an enabling environment in which consumers, merchants, financial institutions, and the government can make payments at the drop of a hat either locally or globally.
“The development of an efficient national payment scheme is crucial for Fiji to develop a “smart economy” and promote real-time payments.”
“It will also help achieve broader societal objectives such as improving access to financial services to all Fijian citizens, hence strengthening financial inclusion and payment ecosystem.”
“It will enable safe, reliable, and seamless digital transactions. The national payment system will enhance convenience and efficiency for both the consumers and the businesses.”
“It will provide an open and interoperable national e-payment infrastructure. The national payment system will reduce the cost of exchanging goods and services.”
Kumar said consumers are now making regular payments to a plethora of service providers in Fiji and internationally.
“They are doing this in a multitude of ways that we could not have imagined even five years ago. This is the benefit of the digital world we live in.”
“But it also means there needs to be increased vigilance and adequate oversight behind the scenes. Consumers need to be confident as they undertake transactions knowing that their payments, and their rights while making those payments, are protected.”
“Consumers must know that there is adequate security covering the electronic transfer of their funds.
“They need to be confident that the use of the latest technology by service providers in areas such as storing of money on electronic devices will be regulated through the strength of legislation.”
“Consumers also need to know that there are rules in place to protect them where error or fraud occurs in a payment system.”
“Increasing the speed and efficiency of the payments and securities systems is, of course, essential and this Bill will underpin this reform with a strong set of rules within a regulatory framework.”
She said the bill brings together all of these elements and everyone involved in identifying the breadth of issues and the need for reform.