Payment Bill to give CBSI mandatory status to regulate electronic transactions

By Gary Hatigeva

THE Payment System Bill 2018 currently before the Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC) has given proposition authority to the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) to regulate and control activities involving electronic payments.

The Bill is proposing to provide a legal framework that will introduce an electronic payment system in Solomon Islands, with the purpose of providing the powers and duties of the Central Bank to operate payment, clearing, settlement systems, and create rules on the issuance of electronic money.

The Central Bank under the current Central Bank of Solomon Islands Act 2012 has no mandatory powers or regulations in place to control all electronic transactions done under the existing payment system, but by commercial banks alone.

This includes exchanges done by bank to bank and small scaled commercial interactions, electronically both in-country and internationally.

The Bill has given the mandatory functions for CBSI to formulate policies for the continuous modernisation of the national payment framework, at the same time given the regulatory status to license payment system operators and payment service providers.

The proposed amendments in the CBSI Act will also give rights to Central Bank to establish terms, conditions, and restrictions that apply individually or collectively to licences issued under this bill.

Central Bank based on the bill, also has the function to perform monitoring and compliance enforcement relating to payment, clearing, or settlement systems that are necessary for or ancillary to the regulation systems involved.

And in accordance with the proposed Payment System Bill 2018, CBSI will also be given the mandate to make regulations and issue directives for the operation of payment systems and the provision of payment services.

The government together with its stakeholders involved in creating the Payment System Bill are anticipating a positive impact on both the country’s trade, and other relevant activities in the economy.

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