News and Press

The Reserve Bank of Fiji announces the go live of the new National Payment System’s Automated Clearing House

December 12, 2023

Fiji, Nov. 23, 2023 /The Reserve Bank of Fiji/ — The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) Governor, Ariff Ali, announced the go live of the new National Payment System’s (NPS) Automated Clearing House (ACH) today. The ACH is part of ongoing efforts to reform the payment system and marks an important milestone in modernising the way we do business in Fiji. This go live represents a culmination of the industry and the RBF’s collective efforts over the last three years to digitally transform Fiji’s payment system with the objective of increased efficiency to support the economy.

The ACH is the second of two major components introduced, the first being the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) and Central Securities Depository. Following this go live, bank customers are expected to be able to carry out instant interbank transactions (up to a specified limit) i.e. transactions between one Bank to another, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This will be applicable for those banks that have implemented straight-through processing in their own environment. The ACH will enable enhanced efficiency across the financial and real sectors, thereby supporting economic activity.

“The second phase of the NPS project is an exciting opportunity for the banks and customers to see the effects of having a payment system that provides reliable, fast and efficient exchange of funds within a reasonable timeframe.” said Mr Shane Smith, Westpac Fiji Chief Executive.

BSP Country Head and current Association of Banks (ABIF) in Fiji Chairman, Mr Haroon Ali praised the recent achievement in the ongoing NPS Project stating, “All Fijians will enjoy the wide-ranging benefits of the ACH facility thanks to the collaborative effort led by the Central Bank and its partners. Some significant advantages it delivers include the immediate availability and readiness of funds for transactions between customers, irrespective of whether these occur within or outside standard business hours. For instance, individuals can promptly access their wages/salaries, and utilise them on the same day. Similarly, small businesses can expect improved cash flow management with the elimination of processing delays.”

Businesses are expected to see efficiencies in operations due to reduced cash handling costs, increased speed of operations, quicker and improved payment processing due to interoperability between the Banks and the implementation of straight-through processing.

The system will form the pipeline for channelling approximately $200 billion worth of transactions annually. In commissioning the system, the Governor stated that “increased interoperability is fundamental to driving payments efficiency. We saw a dramatic increase in transactions with the launch of the upgraded RTGS and anticipate this to grow even further within the first few months after this go live. This improved infrastructure will help bolster business and retail transactions since it has the potential to handle increased volumes of digital payments seamlessly.”

The RBF, with the assistance of its development partner, International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has extensively consulted and collaborated with the ABIF and Montran Corporation, the vendors of the system, on the business processes, technology and infrastructure to enable a successful go live.

The Governor expressed appreciation to all stakeholders who contributed towards the project. He stated that the RBF will continue its collaboration with the wider industry in the upcoming months for the interoperability of Mobile Wallets to Bank Accounts, which is expected to bring further enhancements and seamless payments within the system. The RBF will also begin the awareness on phasing out of cheques shortly after the onboarding of the Mobile Network Operators.

SOURCE Reserve Bank of Fiji