UAE-based Buna payment system to include Chinese, Indian, Pakistani currencies

In 2024–25, the UAE-based Buna system for cross-border payments will expand to include currencies from Pakistan, India, China, and other African and European nations.

Buna, a cross-border payment solution based in the UAE, is set to expand its reach by incorporating currencies from India, China, Pakistan, and various African and European countries within the next fiscal year.

Fahad Al Turki, chairman of the Arab Regional Payments Clearing and Settlement Organization (Buna), expressed the organization's commitment to innovation, citing the recent introduction of instant payment services. He also highlighted ongoing efforts to integrate the Buna platform with payment systems from China, India, and Pakistan, as well as continental payment systems in Europe and Africa.

The Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini, emphasized the potential of Buna's cross-border payment solution to foster investments among Arab countries and promote the use of Arab currencies in transactions. He underscored the platform's robust compliance measures against money laundering and terrorism financing.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, attended the official recognition of Buna's accomplishments.

Currently, Buna is connected to 108 active banks across 14 countries, with an additional 105-plus banks in the process of joining the platform. It currently supports six currencies, including the UAE dirham, Saudi riyal, Egyptian pound, Jordanian dinar, US dollar, and euro, facilitating real-time fund transfers at low costs.

Mehdi Manna, CEO of Buna, highlighted the challenges faced by current cross-border payment systems, such as slow processing, lack of transparency, and accessibility issues. He reiterated Buna's goal of addressing these challenges, particularly within the Arab region, to promote economic integration and empower Arab economies.

Buna's scope includes various types of payments, ranging from government-to-government transactions to remittances. The platform processes thousands of payments monthly and aims for rapid growth, targeting millions of transactions per month by the end of the current year or early next year.

Moreover, plans are in place to integrate currencies from China, India, Pakistan, Africa, and Europe into the platform, either within the current fiscal year or the subsequent one, further enhancing its global reach and impact.

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