African Export-Import Bank — Afreximbank — has launched AfPAY, Afreximbank Trade Payment Services, an intervention designed to facilitate the settlement of international trade on open account terms on behalf of identified African financial institutions and their clients.
The product was developed specifically to address the banking challenges confronting African economies. This has been due to the withdrawal of many international banks from the continent – exits attributable to stringent regulatory and compliance requirements as well as costs.
Over the years, Financial Institutions on the continent have suffered from the reduction in their access to international correspondent banking services to facilitate their international trade.
This curtailment of trade lines effectively shut the entrance of our Financial Institutions to the rest of the world. Trade is the number one driver of growth, and banks’ inability to participate in trade transactions will lead to reduced growth in our economies and increased poverty.
AfPAY, which has been in a pilot phase for over a year currently, facilitates over half a billion dollars in monthly payments across Afreximbank’s member states. Notably, Zimbabwe has participated actively in the pilot, with twenty of its financial institutions using the solution.
Mr Denys Denya, Executive Vice President, Finance & Administration, Afreximbank, commented:
“African banks have, for at least a generation, been dogged by the limited access to dependable banking partners willing to support their cross-border trade transactions. We are pleased to introduce into the market a product which transforms this dynamic, which we believe will accelerate cross-border trade on this continent, connecting Africa with an international financial eco-system that will accelerate its development and economic growth.”