Electronic payment systems of any kind need very good telecommunications network and computer systems, Bank of Zambia (BOZ) banking currency and payment systems director Morris Mulomba has said.

In an interview after a consultative meeting involving BoZ, Bankers Association of Zambia and Kabwe businesses on the implementation of the Item Value Limits (IVL) at Tuskers Hotel, Mulomba said to be effective, electronic payments systems require an improvement in the technological world.

He said BoZ were intending to implement IVL on certain payment systems streaming from DDACC, Real Time Gross Settlements (RTGS) and Cheques.

"We are going to have limits mainly on the issuance of cheques. DDACC will also have limits and all the large value payments we want them to be transferred through RTJS," Mulomba said. He said the country faced a lot of challenges in the technology and communications world.

"But these problems will be minimised as Zambia Telecommunications Limited (ZAMTEL) improves it communication links and the Communication Authority of Zambia (CAZ) intensifies its regulatory implementations systems that help the industry grow,' Mulomba said.

Some banks are also getting second-generation ATMs. "In the rural areas the challenges are also enormous because improved technology requires certain infrastructure," said Mulomba. He said inflation was going down but needs to be sustained. And BOZ acting assistant director payments systems Evans Luneta during the discussions said the usage of cash had many disadvantages.

He said it was a known factor that people needed cash for different purposes.

Luneta observed that many people in the past had been defrauded because of cash transactions. He said it was not easy to stop cash payments upon realisation one had been defrauded.

"Cash is very expensive to produce and transport a lot of risks are involved in handling cash transactions as they create the prevalence of fake notes," Luneta said. "The business houses must not relay on cash transactions, they better accept DDACC." He said it was important for the country to have paper trail transactions.

Luneta said the commercial banks were working very hard to be inter-linked while conceding that some had staff and technological problems that made some instructions delayed.

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