The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and Visa have signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cross-border payments.
Under the agreement, Visa will collaborate with Buna, the AMF’s regional payment platform, to offer participants and member banks quick, efficient, cost-effective channels for cross-border payments in Arab and international currencies, IBS Intelligence reported Thursday (Aug. 26.).
The two organizations say the partnership shows their commitment to serving the regional and global financial ecosystem and making cross-border payments more efficient.
“[The] Buna and Visa partnership is in line with our strategic approach to join forces with international institutions that share with us the same vision to contribute to the development and growth of the payment industry across the Arab world and globally,” said Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, director general, chairman of the board of the Arab Monetary Fund.
He added that the initiative will allow Buna to expand on its pool of solutions while giving participant banks “additional safe and credible channels to broaden their cross-payment capacities, implement innovative business models and better serve their clientele.
“This MOU reinforces Visa’s commitment to support the evolution of the Arab region and the vital role digital payments play in this sphere,” said Visa Group General Manager for GCC Dr Saeeda Jaffar.
Cross-border payments is an area that remains underserved, particularly for startups and small to medium-sized businesses, Currenxie Founder and CEO Riccardo Capelvenere told PYMNTS in an interview earlier this week.
“Access to payments is acutely felt by small businesses, and that can really delay their ability to operate,” Capelvenere said, adding that most cross-border pain points relate to speed and costs, both of which can be headaches for struggling startups.
“Issues with speed start with access,” he said. “In many countries and for many businesses, simply accessing cross-border payments is a hurdle. In Hong Kong, our home market, opening a corporate bank account takes months with requirements that are difficult for new or small businesses to meet.”