Seychelles: Cashless economy – Seychelles financial system will be fully digital by 2023

Seychelles’ financial system will be almost fully digital by 2023, in line with the Central Bank’s technology integration strategy, a senior official said on Thursday.

With the government pushing for digital governance, the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) had its fintech strategy approved by the cabinet of ministers last month.

With this strategy, financial system services are expected to be fully digitalized within two years, eliminating the use of physical cash.

“This strategy highlights CBS’s contribution to a digital economy and something that we have been working on for some time. This will go a long way in improving the efficiency of the financial sector in Seychelles,” said CBS Governor Caroline Abel. .

Financial technology, or fintech, is the use of innovative technologies in the design and delivery of financial products and services. It has immense potential to contribute to economic and social development, through which it can transform the way governments, businesses, civil society and citizens interact and help improve the ease of doing business.

Central Bank financial analyst Brigitte Lucas described three pillars of the strategy, the first being building the right digital infrastructure.

“This includes creating appropriate payment systems, allowing better and affordable access to the Internet as well as other infrastructure to ensure security and trust in services,” said Lucas.

The second pillar concerns all the legal aspects of the strategy. This mainly involves making the necessary changes to existing laws, such as the Law on National Payment Systems, the Law on Financial Institutions and the Draft Law on Cybercrime, among others.

The third pillar is the fintech ecosystem and this will see the establishment of fintech services for government, private sector and funding and skills development to drive fintech supply and demand.

“Work has already started on the implementation of the strategy, where we have already started discussions with partners regarding the implementation of payment platforms locally, the reduction of fees charged for digital payments, reliability and l ‘Internet accessibility,’ added Lucas.

A number of concerns have been raised in the past regarding access to digital financial services and one of them is the time it takes for a transaction to be completed once a request is made, especially to transfer money from one bank account to another.

Liz Julienne, director of financial inclusion and market leadership, said CBS has “already started working with local banks to see how these services can be delivered around the clock and in real time, but there are various mechanisms which must be put in place to ensure the implementation of these measures. “

She also revealed that CBS will conduct a study in 2022 where they will examine the reliability and affordability of current FinTech systems, which will help better implement the strategy.

With the shift to digital services, there are people looking to exploit weaknesses that are particularly true when it comes to digital services.

Abel said CBS does a lot of work to ensure that through financial technology, privacy and security can be maintained.

“When we talk about technology, there can never be 100% reliability, but what we want is to make sure that these systems are well established, tested and up to date to deal with all the attacks that people can throw, ”Abel said.

She added that this will include better equipping the current institutions that oversee financial services and cybercrime in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.

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Don F. Davis