The Bank of Namibia (BoN) is calling on local and international companies to supply and implement an instant payment solution.

The bids officially opened on 1 August and will lapse on Friday.

This invitation for bids comes after some of the central bank’s board members allegedly pushed the governor to cancel a decision to hand-pick an Indian company to develop a digital financial system worth N$82 million.

“The intention for an instant payment solution is borne out of the fact that while recognising that broad financial inclusion is high in Namibia, access to essential and affordable financial services still needs to be improved in rural areas and the informal sectors,” BoN spokesperson Kazembire Zemburuka says.

He says the proposed instant payment solution would enhance the penetration of digital payments within the Namibian financial system and improve financial inclusion, with a particular focus on segments of society, such as rural Namibia, that are financially excluded, as well as the informal segments of the economy.

Zemburuka says people who live in peri-urban and rural areas, as well as those who work in the informal economy, frequently travel great distances to obtain financial services at surrounding towns.

They also tend to use cash as their primary form of payment and pay expensive fees and levies.

As a result, in its strategic plan for 2022 to 2024, the central bank recognised the significance of encouraging financial inclusion through regulatory measures.

“The requirements for those interested are contained in the bid documents that are available to prospective service providers as standard practice,” Zemburuka says.

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