SADC adopts new cross-border payment system

Trading in Southern Africa is set to become faster and easier, following the introduction of the region’s first cross-border e-payment solutions that taps into a market characterized by inaccessible formal banking systems.

BankservAfrica, a Johannesburg-based clearing firm, is behind the establishment of the project dubbed Transactions Cleared on an Immediate Basis (TCIB). TCIB allows for cross-border low-value payments that enable the immediate clearing of single credit “push” transactions that are settled on a deferred basis.

A number of leading edge companies agreed to participate in the pilot phase and were therefore requested to demonstrate their ability to use their technology platforms to initiate cross-border transactions between several countries.

One such firm called Virtual Technology Service of Namibia, a pioneer of e-money and e-payment solutions in Namibia with their PaynGo product, became the first organization in SADC to successfully achieve the milestone in cross-border money transfer processing by transferring N$20 in local currency (USD 1.40) from their digital e-money platform located in Namibia to a bank account located in Zimbabwe.

What made this transaction unique was that the transaction was processed in real-time, which effectively meant the recipient in Zimbabwe received the money within seconds – not days – and that the transaction was converted to Zimbabwe’s national currency.

That milestone was significant in the history of SADC. It meant that cross border transactions could become a seamless process and the region now has a platform that is easy to access, easy to use, and which enables low-value cross-border payment remittance in real-time, at a touch of a button.

Most importantly, it enables the sending and receiving of payments to and fro regional wallets and bank accounts, specifically within SADC, through the respective countries’ currencies.

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