‘Businesses paid through cards get more customers’


Ms Abel addressing guests at the opening of the workshop yesterday

Central Bank governor Caroline Abel and Daniel Ngwepe from Visa International said this during a workshop organised at the Coral Strand hotel by the company yesterday when experts shared their experience and advised on best practices.

The delegates also learned more about the payments industry and how to develop regulations and strategies to address security and risk issues.

Central Bank’s chief information security officer Jude Woodcock said the workshop is timely as it came when the country is seeking to modernise its payment systems.

Mr Ngwepe said when tourists pay by card overseas the money remains abroad leaving the visitors to pay only for minor items and souvenirs, and when they cannot buy these by card, they sometimes opt not to buy at all, avoiding the bother of having to look for cash.

“If a person tries to pay by these other electronic means but a company is not equipped to receive money electronically then the firm and the country loses the money which would have got into our economy,” said Ms Abel, encouraging more people to look for means allowing them to be paid by electronic means which sends the money directly into a services or goods vendor’s bank account.

“The payment industry is not simple especially since it is evolving to keep up with demands of the modern consumer, keeping pace with innovation and competition.”

She said with the introduction of new services, broadening of financial markets is bound to occur, and the new electronic systems and increased use of existing frameworks warrant greater understanding of security and risk issues.

She thanked the Visa Business School team for their initiative and for running the workshop.
“From the point of view of the regulator, it is important therefore to ensure that any innovation or new activities are well understood insofar as appropriate, adequate and efficient regulation can be established and applied,” she told the delegates.

“In particular, for a jurisdiction as small as Seychelles, it is imperative that any regulation that is introduced is not only clear and comprehensive, but that the regulation can and will be enforced. In this light, it is not just the onus of the Central Bank to ensure the structure of the regulation, but the other regulators should continue to collaborate, such that the pool of knowledge and expertise that exist is more effectively put to use.”

Ms Abel said businesses and individuals subjected to these regulations must pay heed to the regulation and through understanding them, be capable of ensuring all relevant transactions and activities are done appropriately. 

“The Central Bank of Seychelles has the responsibility of ensuring that the financial system is sound as mandated through the Central Bank of Seychelles Act and the National Clearance and Settlement Systems Act. While the bank has been spearheading the reform and modernisation of the national payment system since 2009, it is now important to note that the private sector will be expected to take the lead thereafter and we are encouraged that it has already started to happen.

“As such, to better regulate the national payment system, the bank has taken steps to strengthen its oversight framework and review the current legislation which when implemented will require the co-operation of various stakeholders.”

Delegates at the workshop came from the bank, the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the criminal investigations department and the department of information communication technology, among others.