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UBA, PAPSS partner to enhance cross-border payments across Africa

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, a leading financial institution in Africa, and the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing the settlement of cross-border transactions throughout Africa. This pivotal collaboration was formalized at the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meeting (AAM) held in Accra, Ghana.

PAPSS, a joint venture established by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, is a state-of-the-art financial market infrastructure that facilitates secure, efficient, and cost-effective cross-border payments built to bolster intra-African trade.

One of the key innovations introduced by PAPSS is the Commercial Bank Settlement Model. This model grants commercial banks the capability to open and fund settlement accounts at Afreximbank, affording them unparalleled control and flexibility in liquidity management.

UBA, with its extensive network spanning over 20 countries, 1000 branches, and 35 million customers, aims to capitalize on PAPSS’s capabilities to optimize fund transfers while maintaining absolute transparency and regulatory compliance.

Muyiwa Akinyemi, UBA Group’s Deputy Managing Director, highlighted the significance of the partnership. He stated, “By collaborating with Afreximbank and PAPSS, UBA is proud to be among the first to implement the PAPSS platform in five countries – Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Our widespread presence across Africa will enable a seamless cross-border payment experience, which aligns immaculately with UBA’s AfriTrade product that empowers customers to trade across the continent.”

He further added that the integration with PAPSS enables UBA customers to conduct trade in countries where the bank is yet to establish a presence.

Mike Ogbalu III, Chief Executive Officer of PAPSS, expressed his appreciation for UBA’s commitment, saying, “UBA Group has been one of the first Group Bank to adopt the commercial bank settlement model, our new settlement model designed to meet the needs of commercial banks while the central banks will retain their oversight responsibilities.”
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to the bank’s management for backing PAPSS and thereby showing their sincere dedication to enabling Africa take control of its own destiny. With this collaboration, UBA Group and its subsidiaries will now be empowered to settle their cross-border transactions through PAPSS, ensuring seamless and secure transactions across the continent. PAPSS serves as a centralized payment and settlement infrastructure that connects African countries, facilitating efficient and cost-effective transactions.”
The partnership will be executed in stages, in coordination with the Central Banks in countries where UBA operates. UBA will keep its customers informed through established communication channels as the services are rolled out in respective countries.

About United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc

UBA is a foremost player in the financial sector in Africa with a workforce of 25,000 employees, serving over 35 million customers globally. The bank operates in 20 African countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and the United Arab Emirates, providing a broad range of retail, commercial, and institutional banking services, spearheading financial inclusion and employing cutting-edge technology.

About Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS)

PAPSS is an innovative financial market infrastructure developed by Afreximbank and the AfCFTA Secretariat. It aims to provide a secure and efficient platform for processing cross-border payments, thereby facilitating intra-African trade.

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