CBL Eyes Digitizing Liberian Banking Sector

The Director at the Financial Market Department of the Central Bank Of Liberia (CBL), Amanso Barnes, has disclosed that the CBL is gearing towards digitizing the banking sector and getting more people to be active in the formal sector.
Making the disclosure on State radio ELBC recently, Barnes said if Liberia has a digitized economy where people are using mobile money and other wallets, Liberians would not go through difficulty in doing daily transactions.According to him, the CBL wants to see a cashless economy where people don’t have to carry cash in their hands or waste time standing in a long queue to receive cash from the bank to do transactions.
He indicated that the CBL is working closely with its partners and stakeholders, including the Ministry of Justice, Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), LIBTELLCO, among others, to initiate the Digital Platform into the country so that everyone can get the best and fastest service.
Barnes noted that the digital platform will enhance the smooth transaction between the buyer and the seller, adding: “Instead of going to the bank to stand in a queue for five hundred Liberian dollars (500LD) or one thousand Liberian dollar (1000LD), you can just use your mobile money wallet and make your payment.”
At the same time, Director Barnes aid the CBL during its last policy committee gathering issued three monetary instruments, noting that one is the 30% interest of Liberian dollars that is intended to ensure the value of the Liberian dollar is in hand.
He observed that the economy is experiencing a negative return, something he said is allowing people to hold their money at their homes and business places.
The CBL official believes that the annual depreciation of the Liberian dollar has seen the scarcity of the currency in the economy.
According to him, the essence of the 30% interest on the Liberian dollar is to allow people bring their local money into the bank.
“We are offering 30% to commercial banks which is the rate of inflation; this is where the banks stand to benefit from a Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) that will allow the banks to deposit their excess reserves with us at the CBL”.
“By giving the 30% the banks will be able to give their depositors 30% as well so they can be encouraged to bring their money into the banking hall and not to keep their money home,” he added.
He said, the CBL is also in discussion with the GSM companies to reduce the cost as it relates to banking transactions.
“Though we haven’t gotten any word from them yet to know whether the cost will be reduced; we are still having the conversation because we cannot force them to reduce their cost as we don’t know their operations,” he said.

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