GCB Bank, a major institution in Ghana, has successfully completed the first Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) client transaction in Ghana, according Myjoyonline. The transaction involved a Ghanaian incorporated entity initiating a supplier payment from GCB in Ghana Cedis (1 USD = 460 GHC) to a beneficiary in Nigeria who received the payment in Naira (1 USD = 122,443 NGN) instantly.
Readers can reference our posting from last year where we described the continental initiative called the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which has a remit to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, particularly trade in value-added production and trade across all sectors of Africa’s economy. This in turn is part of a broader master plan called Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.
PAPSS was adopted in 2019 and launched commercially in Jan. 2022. It is unclear from the referenced article today whether or not this is the first actual cross-border transaction on PAPSS or only the first initiated from Ghana. A quick review of the PAPSS website did not provide any data, but we would guess that there have been other transactions given the commercial launch date. The article goes on to quote some folks and provide thanks to various participants including the Bank of Ghana (central bank), the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS), which is the local equivalent of Fedwire, and the African Export-Import Bank, among others.
Although prefunding occurs for direct participants through integration between PAPSS and the local central bank RTGS system, settlement is done on a net basis every 24 hours. So this is another ongoing development in the ever-changing cross-border payments space, something we recently covered in member research for B2B developments. There are several other instant payment cross-border initiatives underway, including those involving CBDCs, and we’ll be keeping readers updated as they release information.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial Advisory Service at Javelin Strategy & Research.