SADC Banks phase out cross-border cheques

Jun 21, 2013

Commercial banks in Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland will no longer accept deposits of cheques issued outside the country where the transaction is being conducted, as part of the implementation of the Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS) initiative.

Commercial banks in Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland will no longer accept deposits of cheques issued outside the country where the transaction is being conducted, as part of the implementation of the Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS) initiative.

Banks within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) will phase out cross-border cheques and bank drafts from July 22nd.

"Cross-border cheques account for less than one percent of all cheque payments. For such a low volume of cross-border cheques, it is not economically viable to establish a separate inter-regional payment system for cheques (...) and the risk associated with cheque payments is also much higher compared to electronic payments," said Marlize Horn, the Executive Officer for Marketing at Bank Windhoek, quoted by New Era.

The move is part of a regional drive to eliminate paper-based instruments such as cheques and drafts, and reduce the chance of fraud associated with these.

The phasing out of cheques also forms part of the region's decision to implement the SIRESS initiative, which aims to strengthen regional financial integration and facilitate trade within the SADC, thus boosting the
region's
economy.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801602175-ADNFCR