Cross-border cheques to be phased out

18 Jun 2013 12:30
WINDHOEK, 18 JUN (NAMPA) - Cross-border cheques and bank drafts are being phased out as from 22 July this year.
This was announced by Bank Windhoek's Executive Officer of Marketing and Corporate Communication Services, Marlize Horn in a media statement issued here on Tuesday.
The statement said cross-border cheques and bank drafts will no longer be accepted by any banking institution within the Common Monetary Area (CMA), which includes Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
This means as from 22 July, no South African issued cheques can be deposited at any Namibian bank, while Namibian cheques issued to South African individuals or companies can also no longer be deposited at South African banks.
Clients are now being requested to make use of Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT) for cross border payments.
The phasing out of cross-border cheques forms part of the implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS) initiative currently in progress.
?Cross-border cheques account for less than one per cent of all cheque payments compared to approximately 10 per cent of electronic cross-border 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 as part of SIRESS, hence the decision to phase them out. The risk associated with cheque payments is also much higher compared to electronic payments,? Horn explained.
She, however, said both businesses clients, as well as individual clients, will still be able to make cross-border payments via Bank Windhoek?s Electronic Payments and Collections platform (EPAC) Internet Banking Application or alternatively, Bank Windhoek offers over-the-counter internet-based cross border EFT payments.