The Pan African Payments and Settlement System (PAPPS) is the intra-African trade and commerce payments, centralized payment and settlement system.

With the participation of banks and fintechs, the deployment of this system is expected to contribute to solving the menace of low intra-African Trade.

Speaking at The Money Summit, Head of Product Management at Hubtel –– one of the leading names in fintech companies in Ghana –– Patrick Asare-Frimpong, said that “the way to increase intra-Africa Trade is by a matter of putting enough tools that enable fintechs to innovate around all the protocols that are available on PAPPS. The absence of this will not encourage fintech to innovate”.

This was the first plenary session with a panel of industry experts discussing the challenges, opportunities, and the way forward for Africa’s payment and settlement system with respect to the introduction of PAPPS.

PAPSS, hailed as a game-changer for intra-African Trade, is expected to be the most important component of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) because it promises to save businesses across the continent US$5 billion in transaction costs each year, with Trade between African countries expected to increase by 22 per cent by 2040, generating an additional US$70 billion in value. However, some challenges need addressing.

Mr. Asare-Frimpong, added, “issues like the fastest time for transfers on PAPPS being 10secs are challenging because people always want their monies instantly. There are card transfers that take just about 2 secs”.

In recent times, Hubtel has conducted “research amongst our customers, and we found out that settlement is one of the major things for both businesses and individuals. It doesn’t matter the platform through which they send money; the recipient wants to get the money instantly. They want it in a second. If we cannot promise and deliver instant settlement, then there is a whole cloud of doubt and uncertainty which results in low trade”, he further stated.

Touching on the topic of Anti-Money Laundering, he asserted that “this (PAPPS) if done right is going to give us a strong arm and allow us to be able to operate as one entity, as a continent, and to give us the ability not to let somebody come and push us over especially if we can trade amongst ourselves profitably.”

The first plenary session at this year’s Money Summit had a panel of industry experts such as Monica Oraro, Head of Product and Business Development, PAPPS, Dr. Settor Amediku, Head of Payment Systems at Bank of Ghana, Ato Okyri, Group Head, Technology and Innovation at Letshego Group and Chief Financial Officer at Fidelity Bank, Attah Yeboah Gyan. Prince Moses, General Manager for Asaase Radio, moderated the panel.

Business and Financial Times organized The Money Summit in partnership with the Bank of Ghana with support from Hubtel, Letshego, AZA Finance, FBN Bank, Fidelity Bank, Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), under the theme ‘Africa’s Economic Growth: Facilitating Investment, Payments, and Settlement Systems.