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Improving global cross-border payments would boost trade and economic growth, says a new report from global policy group the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI).

The CPMI report said that the current payments system suffers from an array of long-standing challenges, which mean that cross-border payments can be slow, expensive and unreliable.

Efforts to create alternative payments infrastructure, using cryptocurrency or other blockchain-based payments models, have highlighted the prospects for improving the existing system, the CPMI noted.

The report sets out a series of building blocks to improve payments and make cross-border transactions faster, cheaper, and more transparent and inclusive.

It calls for greater regulatory coordination, improved infrastructure, and enhanced data, and recommends exploring the potential of new payment models such global stablecoins or central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

“While improvements to technology are one piece of the puzzle, international cooperation and collaboration will be crucial to reduce cross-border frictions,” the group said.

Eliminating the sources of friction in existing cross-border payments systems would enhance trade and development, bolstering economic growth, it said.

“Cross-border payments are necessarily more complex than domestic payments, but we need to bring them into line with the standards, efficiency and reliability that users now have a right to expect,” said Sir Jon Cunliffe, chair of the CPMI and deputy governor of the Bank of England.

Another global policy group, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), will lead the development of a roadmap to enhance cross-border payments, which will be delivered to the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors at their meeting in October.

“If we are to succeed in improving cross-border payments, we require a clear political commitment and strong support from central bank governors and finance ministers, as well as private sector action,” said Cunliffe.