Dubai: The Arab world's own cross-border payment network - 'Buna' - has gone live, with the first transaction done in the UAE dirham. It was executed between Mashreq Bank and Banque Misr in Egypt.
Buna aims to encourage the use of Arab currencies in cross-border settlement and clearance transactions.
Owned by Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), Buna settles cross-borders payments in multiple currencies. It can currently be done using dirham, Egypt's pound and the Saudi riyal.
Buna already has a network of participant banks, and the Monday transaction marks the completion of the phased go-live approach. "We are looking forward to continuing growing our network of participants and currencies," said Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Arab Monetary Fund. "Our focus will always be to offer modern payment solutions, across the Arab region and beyond, within the highest standards of information security and in compliance with international standards."
Buna is in the process of expanding its network, with more than 120 banks currently in the process to onboard, as well as add more eligible Arab and international currencies. Buna aims to encourage the use of Arab currencies in cross-border settlement and clearance transactions.