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

The Seychelles financial system will be almost entirely digitized by 2023, in line with the central bank’s technology integration strategy, a senior official said Thursday.

As the government pushed for digital governance, the Seychelles Central Bank (CBS) had its financial technology strategy approved by the cabinet of ministers last month.

The strategy aims to fully digitize the services of the financial system in two years and eliminate the use of physical cash.

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

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

The central bank’s financial analyst Brigitte Lucas outlined three pillars of the strategy, the first being the establishment of a suitable digital infrastructure.

“This includes the creation of suitable payment systems that enable better and cheaper access to the Internet and also to other infrastructures in order to guarantee security and trust in the services,” said Lucas.

The second pillar concerns all legal aspects of the strategy. This applies above all to the necessary adjustments to existing laws, such as the National Payment Transactions Act, the Financial Institutions Act and the Act on Cybercrime.

The third pillar is the fintech ecosystem, which includes the establishment of fintech services for the government, the private sector, and funding and skills development to fuel the supply and demand of fintech.

“Work on executing the strategy has already begun, and we have already started discussions with partners about implementing on-site payment platforms, lowering digital payment fees, and making the Internet reliable and affordable,” added Lucas.

There have been some concerns about access to digital financial services in the past. One of them is the time it takes to complete a transaction after a request is made, especially when transferring money from one bank account to another.

Liz Julienne, Director of Financial Inclusion and Market Behavior said that CBS “has already started working with local banks to see how these services can be delivered 24/7, but there are several mechanisms that can be used are needed “to ensure that these measures can be implemented.”

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She also announced that in 2022, CBS will conduct a study that will examine the reliability and affordability of current financial technology systems, which will help better implement the strategy.

With the entry into digital services, there are people who want to exploit weaknesses, especially in digital services.

Abel said CBS is doing a lot of work to ensure that fintech can maintain privacy and security.

“When we talk about technology, there can never be one hundred percent reliability, but we want to make sure these systems are well established, tested, and up to date to withstand any attack,” Abel said.

This includes better equipping the current institutions overseeing financial services and cybercrime in the Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.

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