Monitoring cross-border payment developments: a regional analysis of AMF member countries

CPMI Briefs  |  No 2  | 
02 February 2024


  • Making cross-border payments cheaper, faster, more transparent and easier to access across the globe is a priority for the G20. The CPMI and the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) support this global effort and cooperate on the monitoring of cross-border payment developments.

  • Cross-border payments are important for AMF member countries, because of the growing volume of interbank transfers in the region and the relevance of remittances for it. A stocktake conducted in 2021 showed that the operating hours of payment systems within the region largely overlap with the "global settlement window". However, compared with the global average, non-banks are less likely to have direct access to payment systems.

  • Regular monitoring of cross-border payment developments and analysis of progress at the regional level can provide useful insights and demonstrate progress on identified priority actions. The 2023 cross-border payments monitoring survey of central banks, conducted by the CPMI and supported by the AMF, will provide further insights on developments over the past two years.

The G20 has made enhancing cross-border payments a priority under the Saudi Arabian presidency in 2019. Faster, cheaper, more transparent and more inclusive cross-border payment services would deliver widespread benefits for citizens and economies as well as supporting economic growth, international trade, global development and financial inclusion. These enhancements could be especially beneficial for economic growth in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) and support regional integration initiatives, for example through more efficient international remittances or reducing frictions in regional trade.

In line with the G20 targets, policymakers in AMF member countries have set out an agenda to enhance intraregional cross-border payments by increasing their efficiency and speed, as well as reducing their costs and liquidity requirements. These developments should be supported by improved financial crime compliance and payment system oversight. Enhanced cross-border payments would ultimately support regional financial and economic integration by furthering the efficiency and harmonisation of trade within the region.

This paper provides insights on the importance of cross-border payments for the region, evidenced by international remittances. It documents the status of payment system interoperability and extension, as well as legal, regulatory and supervisory aspects in the region at the launch of the cross-border payments programme. Finally, it provides an outlook for regular monitoring across the priority themes going forward.

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