MauCAS to pave the way for new electronic payment options, says PM

GIS – 15 August, 2019: The Mauritius Central Automated Switch (MauCAS), a novel state-of-the art digital hub fully owned and operated by the Bank of Mauritius (BoM) for routing payments among operators on a 24/7 basis, was launched, yesterday, by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.  The launch ceremony was held at the seat of the Bank of Mauritius in Port Louis.

In his address, the Prime Minister highlighted that MauCAS, which is built on open standards, will enable banks and non-bank operators to provide transformative payment and value-added services through innovative channels. This will hence pave the way for new electronic payment options, he indicated.
 
In the face of a technology-driven era, the Prime Minister emphasised that Government is committed to modernising Mauritius and enhancing the quality of life of the population with various technological and infrastructural projects. Therefore, MauCAS will help to accommodate enriched mobile applications and FinTech, among others. It will also be used to successfully launch a central virtual register of ‘Know Your Client’ from the BoM, leading to reducing the time and costs of this key regulation of the financial services sector, he added.
Moreover, Mr Jugnauth reiterated his vision of a cashless society to better secure financial transactions in Mauritius. MauCAS will be a real boost to e-commerce with its 24/7 payment system, he pointed out. The Prime Minister also announced the upcoming introduction of a "Central Bank Digital Currency".
For his part, the Governor of the BoM, Mr Yandraduth Googoolye, stated that MauCAS is a payment ecosystem designed to benefit all stakeholders of the payment industry, from end-customers to merchants and service providers as well as the Government. Through this initiative, he added, the Bank supports the development of Mauritius into a digital economy.
 
Furthermore, he indicated that as MauCAS effects retail payments outside official operating hours, it is the first national payment platform to operate round the clock, a feature attributable to a handful of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. MauCAS, he said, will change the dynamics of currency circulation in the country, reduce float in the system as well as allow banks and businesses to manage their liquidity more efficiently.
 
On the regional front, Mauritius is already a member and host of the COMESA Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS), Mr Googoolye highlighted. MauCAS may serve as a regional switch to the participating countries and be used for cross border retail payments through mobiles and cards, with settlement being carried out on REPSS, he added.
 
The Mauritius Central Automated Switch
 
As the central payment switch, MauCAS is designed to simplify the current retail payments by routing transactions made through cards and mobile phones for settlement at the Bank of Mauritius. This therefore enhances efficiency in the system while maintaining the inter-operability of different channels of payments.
 
The goal of MauCAS is to create an enabling environment for digital payments so as to support the development of Mauritius into a digital economy. Additionally, MauCAS aims at: providing a multifaceted inter-operator switching platform for various payment channels; reducing infrastructure acquisition and ownership costs through shared costs among stakeholders; creating a common platform for key players to develop e-products that would extend the coverage of services beyond the traditional bank clientele; providing an open system for businesses and; increasing versatility of payment options through the concept of ‘anywhere, anytime payment’.
 

Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov

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