#MoneyReport2023: Zenith Bank & PAPSS partnership – enhancing cross-border trade for


Ghanaian SMEs

Cross-border trade presents significant challenges for Ghanaian businesses. The inefficiencies and high costs of existing payment systems hinder expansion beyond Ghana’s borders.

The complexities arising from differing currencies, rules, and intermediaries result in complicated transactions and substantial fees, eroding profits and global competitiveness. However, amid these difficulties, entrepreneurs persevere, envisioning a future where seamless, real-time transactions facilitate international trade.

PAPSS: revolutionizing African cross-border trade

The hurdles faced by corporate entities, small and medium scale enterprises as well as individuals with cross-border trade are not unique; they resonate across Africa. Zenith Bank’s partnership with the Pan African Payment and Settlements System (PAPSS) however aims to revolutionize cross-border trade.

PAPSS, an initiative designed to promote intra-African trade and reduce reliance on foreign parties (which currently costs the continent a staggering US$5 billion yearly through existing payment channels) presents a simplified, secure, and cheaper expeditious alternative, bridging the gap between trading partners within days, not weeks. The platform also contributes to financial inclusion and African unity.

Ghanaian SMEs reaping the benefits

The partnership with PAPSS offers substantial advantages and opportunities for Ghanaian SMEs. A pivotal benefit is the streamlining of cross-border payments. Kwame Adadey, Divisional Head of Zenith Bank, asserts that this collaboration underscores Africans’ ability to solve unique challenges collectively.

“It underscores our belief in the African project that, as Africans, we can provide solutions for our unique problems.  PAPSS is one of them,” says Mr. Adadey.

Gone are the days of convoluted currency conversions and exorbitant transaction fees. Businesses in Ghana can now engage directly with counterparts across Africa, transacting in local currencies. This reduction in costs amplifies competitiveness and fosters growth.

Moreover, the efficient framework of PAPSS empowers Ghanaian SMEs to access previously unattainable markets and clients throughout the continent. The eradication of trade barriers stemming from inefficient payment systems paves the way for unprecedented expansion.

Zenith Bank: the ultimate cross-border partner

Zenith Bank’s prominence as a financial services provider makes it an ideal choice for cross-border trade under PAPSS. Its exceptional service quality, surpassing industry standards, and extensive continental network are standout attributes. This network not only benefits large enterprises but significantly aids SMEs, enabling them to venture beyond national boundaries for growth.

Zenith Bank’s advanced technological infrastructure ensures secure, seamless transactions—a crucial component for cross-border traders. Its digital banking solutions facilitate efficient financial operations, while its commitment to excellence reassures customers. For SMEs navigating cross-border trade, Zenith Bank’s reliability and technological prowess are invaluable.

Touching on the subject, Mr. Adadey explained, “It boils down to why anyone would want to do business with Zenith Bank. Why are we the preferred choice?  One major aspect is the unparalleled quality of service we provide. Zenith Bank’s service standards surpass what customers would usually find elsewhere. I can confidently assure you that the customer experience is so exceptional that we witness a constant influx of non-customers who come in to carry out transactions, only to become loyal customers due to the speed and convenience we offer.”

Spearheading digitalization

As we move into the future, the financial sector is rapidly embracing digitalisation, and Zenith Bank stands at the forefront of this technological shift. Consequently, Zenith Bank envisions a future where customers will be able to access PAPSS seamlessly without the need to physically visit a brick-and-mortar branch. This digital transformation will undoubtedly enhance customer convenience and accessibility to financial services.

Guidance and empowerment

Beyond financial services, Zenith Bank distinguishes itself through comprehensive advisory and financial sensitisation efforts. These initiatives equip SMEs with the knowledge to navigate international trade intricacies, fortifying their decision-making and expanding their market reach.

Continental goals

Zenith Bank’s partnership extends beyond transactions. Its contributions to forums and engagements leverage its experience, enriching discussions on continental goals.

In the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – the largest economic bloc in the world, which connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion – partnership with PAPSS gains even more significance.

AfCFTA’s vast economic potential and Zenith Bank’s integration with PAPSS positions it as a key player in this continental trade revolution.

A vision of prosperity

Zenith Bank’s collaboration with PAPSS symbolizes a future where African trade transcends borders, fostering growth, success, and economic unity. Through this transformative partnership, countless African traders envision a brighter future. In the narrative of an economically prosperous Africa, the association echoes ‘Zenith Bank x PAPSS’.

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