PAPSS – the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System – is a cross-border, financial market infrastructure enabling payment transactions across Africa. Developed by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), PAPPS is expected to boost intra-African trade by transforming and facilitating payment, clearing, and settlement for cross-border trade across Africa.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa.
PAPSS was launched on 13 January 2022 by Ghana President H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, represented by Vice President H.E Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in Accra, observing that the ground-breaking platform will save Africa more than US$5 billion annually in payment transaction costs, while it plays an increasingly significant role in accelerating the continent’s transactions underpinning the operationalization of the AfCFTA.
The Settlement System leverages Leading-edge technology to connect African banks, payment service providers, and other financial market intermediaries enabling instant and secure payments between African countries. The goal is to simplify the historical complexities and costs of making payments across African borders and provide operational efficiencies that open up vast economic opportunities for all stakeholders.
How PAPSS works
Sending money using the PAPSS is a five-step process:
- The first step is when an individual issues a payment instruction to their local bank or payment service provider.
- Second, the bank or the payment service provider sends the instructions to PAPSS.
- Third, PAPSS validates the payment instruction.
- Fourth, upon successful validation, PAPSS will forward the instruction to the beneficiary’s bank or payment service provider.
- Lastly, the bank or payment service provider pays the transferred funds, in local currency, to the beneficiary.
In announcing the rollout of PAPSS, Afreximbank says that by “simplifying cross-border transactions and reducing the dependency on hard currencies for these transactions, PAPSS is set to boost intra-African trade significantly.” Intra-African trade is currently at a meagerly 17 percent.
The PAPSS is also expected to lead to increases in value addition to products, jobs creation, and more earnings for traders.
PAPSS addresses the historic challenges of making payments across African borders, adding value through a common African market infrastructure for all stakeholders, from governments, banks, and payment providers to corporates, small enterprises, and individuals.