Namibia and NIPL Ink Instant Payments deal

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The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has signed an agreement with NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), an international arm of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), to develop a secure national payment system, similar to India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI). ) with the same technology.

UPI is an instant payment platform that enables 24/7 interbank transactions via mobile devices. With a single mobile application and two-factor authentication, users can access multiple bank accounts, make money transfers and make payments to merchants.

NPCI developed and launched its UPI in 2016. The platform has since become India’s most popular payment solution, with more than 117 billion transactions by 2023 and usable for payments in seven countries.

This partnership aims to drive inclusive economic growth and modernize Namibia’s financial system by improving connectivity to domestic and international networks.

Despite having a mature telecommunications market, Namibia lags behind its competitors in the adoption of digital technologies. The financial services sector is also lagging behind. The use of online banking is limited, hindering access to credit and creating a dual economy: a highly developed modern sector coexisting with an informal, livelihood-oriented sector.

A UPI-like payment system will facilitate real-time payment transactions, along with person-to-person and merchant-to-person payment transactions, promoting financial inclusion and reducing cash dependence for underserved populations in rural and informal sectors. It will also help disadvantaged micro, small and medium enterprises access finance.

Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes Gawaxab notes that the central bank aims to improve accessibility and affordability for underserved populations by achieving full interoperability of payment instruments, modernizing the financial sector and ensuring a secure national payment system by 2025 .

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The development of an instant payment system is in line with the Strategic Plan and the National Payment System Vision and Strategy 2025. This reduces infrastructure costs for financial institutions and ensures the sustainability and affordability of instant payment solutions for end users. It also connects individuals, businesses and government agencies to support the growth of digital entrepreneurship in Namibia.

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