The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) owned regional cross-border payment system Buna has started full operations, settling transactions in multiple currencies.
The regional Arab organization said in a statement that the Buna executed the first live payment in UAE dirhams between Dubai’s Mashreq Bank and Banque Misr in Egypt.
AFM further added that Buna’s entry into full operations demonstrated Buna’s organizational and technological readiness to function and make cross-border payments, following international requirements.
H.E. Mohamed El Etreby, Chairman of Banque Misr said, “Owing to Banque Misr’s pioneer status in the banking sector and its keenness on supporting efforts towards creating an Arabian payment platform; the bank welcomes being part of the Buna platform, which is the first regional payment system that links the financial infrastructures of the Arab world with their main trading partners.”
“Being a participant in Buna platform will not only contribute substantially in improving the services provided by Banque Misr but also will help in offering a wide range of products and services, that caters for various current and potential customer needs, in addition to strengthening Banque Misr leadership in the Arab banking sector by being one of the first participant banks,” he further added.
“The successful first live payment transaction is a strong testament of our commitment to deliver on time and demonstrate Buna’s ability to function within the set requirements … despite unprecedented difficult times and global challenging conditions. This milestone step would not have been possible, without the continuous support of the Arab Central Banks. We are looking forward to continuing to grow our network of participants and currencies. Our focus will always be to offer modern payment solutions, across the Arab region and beyond, within the highest standards of information security and in compliance with international standards.”
H.E. Ahmed Abdelaal, Group Chief Executive Officer, Mashreq Bank said, “Mashreq would like to commend the vision of The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) to establish an Arab Regional Payments and Clearing Settlement platform (Buna) and transform the payment landscape in the region.”
“With a wide range of solutions through its unique and centralized payments, clearing, and settlement platform, AMF has a pioneering vision to not only facilitate cross-border payments in the Arab region but also to integrate with other regional market infrastructure. This will drive harmonization and standardization to expand the coverage more globally and make cross-border payments much safer and faster,” added Mr. Abdelaal.
Earlier this year, the AMF introduced Buna, a multi-currency platform that allows the sending and receiving of cross-border payments by financial institutions, including commercial lenders and central banks in the Arab world.
The goal of the platform is to foster regional financial integration by promoting the use of Arab currencies in cross-border settlement and clearance transactions and by promoting investment ties with Arab countries’ global trading partners.
Last week, the Saudi Arabian riyal became the third Arab settlement currency on the Buna platform after the UAE dirham and Egyptian pound.