AMF, Mastercard join forces to expedite cross-border payments

Over 95 per cent of consumers in the Middle East and Africa are embracing the power of digital payment technologies.
Over 95 per cent of consumers in the Middle East and Africa are embracing the power of digital payment technologies.

The joint initiative of Buna and Mastercard is in line with both entities’ strategic objectives to promote financial inclusion and cater to the growing needs of consumers



by

Issac John

Published: Mon 13 Dec 2021, 5:25 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 Dec 2021, 4:26 PM

The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) will join forces with Mastercard in facilitating the growth of payment activities across the Arab region and beyond.

Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding that the AMF signed with the payments giant, Buna, the cross-border and multi-currency payment system owned by the AMF will seek strategic interoperability between their respective systems to grow and facilitate the exchange of cross-border payments across the Arab region and international markets.

“The interoperability between Buna and Mastercard will allow participants to substantially increase their footprint in the payment industry in the region and beyond,” the AMF said in a statement on Monday.

The AMF’s latest move is subsequent to a similar MoU signed with Visa in August to drive cross-border payments between the Arab region and global markets. As part of the MoU, Visa will work with AMF’s regional payment platform Buna to enable additional rails of money transfer across the two systems to drive cross-border payments between the Arab region and the rest of the world.

The joint initiative of Buna and Mastercard is in line with both entities’ strategic objectives to promote financial inclusion and cater to the growing needs of consumers and corporates for easy, reliable, and modern access to payment solutions.

The interoperability between the two systems represents a solid proof of their intention to contribute positively to the global efforts that aim at improving cross-border payments efficiency and accessibility, the AMF said.

Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, director general, and chairman of the board of the AMF, stressed the strategic aspects of this cooperation and the important value it delivers to the financial community in the Arab region and beyond.

“Achieving interoperability between Buna and Mastercard represents a strategic milestone in Buna’s plan to contribute to the growth of commercial and investment ties across the Arab region and with global markets,” said Al Hamidy.

Both Buna and Mastercard are better-positioned to capitalise on this partnership to add value to their respective ecosystems by creating innovative solutions, in the cross-border and multi-currency payment field, that are diversified, efficient, easy to access.

“The aim is to achieve better risk control and to cater to the strategic and evolving needs of the financial and payment community in the Arab region and beyond,” said Al Hamidy.

The AMF, in collaboration with the Arab Central Banks, has been seeking to promote Arab Regional Payment System (APRS) as an innovative approach to current cross-border payment challenges, a solution to promote and facilitate regional and international trade, and a more appropriate response to the increasing pressure that the Arab region is facing.

“With 95 per cent of consumers in the Middle East and Africa embracing the power of digital payment technologies, it is crucial that we build infrastructure that enables the seamless movement of money,” said Khalid Elgibali, division president, Mena region, Mastercard.

He said the partnership with AMF would serve to boost cross-border trade in the region and connect governments, businesses and consumers faster than ever before. “Through our multi-rail strategy, Mastercard is working to transform the payments landscape by ensuring universal acceptance and interoperability and help drive inclusive economic growth.”

Buna is a cross-border payment system owned by the Arab Monetary Fund, aiming to enable financial institutions and central banks in the Arab region and beyond to send and receive payments in local currencies as well as key international currencies in a safe, cost-effective, risk-controlled, and transparent environment. Buna offers participants modern payment solutions that comply with international standards, principles, and compliance requirements.

issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


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