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Cashless economy

Filipe Naigulevu
Friday, December 01, 2017

WHILE electronic transactions are fast replacing cash payments, Fiji has taken a step closer towards becoming a "paperless and cashless economy".

This is after the Ministry of Economy's recent move to use ANZ Bank's Transactive platform for all its payments, reducing the need for cheques and ensuring vendors are paid promptly and efficiently.

The decision is also part of the Fijian Government's goal to channel 85 per cent of its payments through digital platforms by 2020.

To mark this, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday transferred the first batch online payments via ANZ's Transactive payments platform in Suva.

ANZ Transactive is a web-based transaction banking platform providing convenient access to payments, cash management and trade functionality.

Designed specifically for commercial, corporate and institutional clients, the platform delivers a streamlined solution for day-to-day banking needs.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said with these kinds of transactions, it helped increase a lot more fluidity and streamlining of processes with Government.

"Government, as you know, is leading the charge that we have now also logged on to the ANZ Transactive platform," he said.

"With the ability of this sort of transaction to take place, we are not only able to save trees, we are also able to reduce our carbon footprints and provide a lot more transparency over our transactions.

"As you know, electronic transactions claw back very quickly as to where the money source was and where the money is going or where the money will go. So it creates that level of transparency."

Over the past decade, Government has made a strategic shift from cash and cheques to electronic payment forms.

Today, 70 per cent of all Government payments are made through electronic platforms.

"It also fits in with our National Switch program we hope in the next month or so we would be able to give the specs to all the banks and gear them towards the system, we are going to put in place and again they should bring down the costs of electronic transactions," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum however urged the private sector, in particular entities, statutory bodies and state-owned enterprises, to adopt the new system "very quickly".

Meanwhile, in a bid to encourage people to perform more electronic transactions, ANZ has introduced an offer where ANZ customers can make an unlimited number of transactions via EFTPOS, ATMs and internet banking for just 20 cents a day or $6 a month.

"Like the Government, we want to encourage people to use these electronic channels and reduce their reliance on cash," ANZ Fiji country head Saud Minam said.

"We know digital baking transactions are increasing every year so we want to remind customers that they can take advantage of ANZ's 'Access Premium' product that allows them unlimited use of electronic banking channels.

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