Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) launched the new automated clearing system, Perago Clear, representing the second component of the Automated Transfer System (ATS); the first being the Gross Settlement System (RTGS). The achievement was made possible through technical cooperation with the World Bank and the Bank of Italy (Banca d'Italia), financial aid from the Arab Monetary Fund and the collaboration with the banking system in Palestine.
The Governor of the PMA, Dr Jihad Al Wazir, declared that the purpose of the launch and implementation of this system is to provide effective systems for the execution of cheque clearing and other retail payment transactions to service the Palestinian market. The system will assure the automated execution of operations of cheque clearing and other retail payment instruments, in a modern, prompt and more secure manner. This comes as part of laying the third foundation of the National Payment System; a task initiated five years ago by the PMA through the adoption of a plan of action to develop and modernize the National Payment System of the State of Palestine, with the technical cooperation of the World Bank. The Plan aims at bringing about a fundamental development of the payment and settlement systems in Palestine, in line with international best practices in the field.
Al Wazir added that the system will contribute to the automation of operations of cheque clearing and various retail payment instruments, through the provision of direct linkage mechanisms to its members, allowing the utilization of a secure infrastructure and real-time monitoring of operations. On the medium-term, this will constitute part of a comprehensive system to upgrade and develop the operation of retail payment instruments, with the possibility of including government payments within the system in the future.
Al Wazir commended the cooperation of banks in relation to this development, saying that the cooperation and sincere efforts of the banks, as well as their staff, were truly pivotal to the PMA development of payment systems; albeit amid the difficult and unusual circumstances prevailing in Palestine.
Al Wazir pointed out that the PMA will continue to follow through its efforts aimed at the development and reinforcement of the retail payment infrastructure in the Palestinian market. Upgrading the infrastructure is vital to fulfill PMA goals and endeavors of converting the society, now dependent on cash and paper–based payment instruments, to one which advocates the use of modern non-cash payment instruments in daily transactions. This is achievable through constant and tireless effort to launch the National Switch Project in the near future, which aims at the encouraging and expanding the use of electronic payment cards, as a modern payment instrument.