Italy-based payments processor Perago has won the contract to supply the technology infrastructure for the Palestine Monetary Authority's overhaul of its interbank payments.
The project, which is expected to go live in 2010, will cover all payments exchanged between the 20 banks operating in Palestinian territories in all four major currencies (euro, US dollar, Israeli shekel and Jordanian dinar). It is anticipated that some 10,000 payments will be processed on a daily basis.
It will also be the first example of a technology infrastructure that combines the automated and real time clearing and settlement of both retail and wholesale payments, claims Perago, a wholly-owned subsidiary of technology firm SIA-SSB.
The revamp of the Palestine's payments processing was prompted by a recent World Bank report that highlighted the need for a single platform for clearing and settlement of all payments in national economies, such as Palestine, where volumes are low and there is a dependency on multiple currencies.
The importance of resilient payments infrastructure has been underlined at this year's Sibos event where the head of the World Bank's Systems Development Group Massimo Cirasino spoke of the need for more efficient payment systems.
"The cost of credit bureaus, remittances and domestic payments is relatively high in developing countries and can be lowered," says Cirasino. "A lot of improvement is achievable in the payments sector with the right infrastructure."
"From a business perspective, a state-of-the-art payments infrastructure is a crucial asset in the success of economic development and international cooperation, contributing the creation of the keenly anticipated free-trade area," adds Renzo Vanetti, CEO of SIA-SSB and chairman of Perago.