Regional Payment Systems
Southern African Development Community (SADC) Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS)
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS) is a regional payment and settlement system that was developed to facilitate funds transfer for cross-border payment in the SADC region. The platform was implemented to reduce the costs and improve efficiency by eliminating the need for corresponding banking of cross border payments. Ultimately, it is envisaged that the system will further promote and help trade within the region.
The system first went live in July 2014 for the Common Monetary Area (CMA) countries namely; South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland as proof of concept. Following the success in the CMA countries, the system was later extended to all commercial banks and central banks in the SADC region that wished to join as participants. Zambia as a country joined as a participant in September 2014.
Key objectives for the implementation of this SIRESS include:
- Facilitation of intra-region trade for member countries
- Lowering the cost of cross-border payment through the provision of a cheaper payment mechanism
- Improvement in the efficiency of cross-border payements through the reduction of settlement times
- Improvement in customer service by participating commercial banks
The SIRESS allows individuals and companies to send funds to recipients who bank with commercial banks that are participants on the SIRESS with the SADC regional. The following commercial banks are currently participants on the SIRESS:
- Bank of Zambia
- Barclays Bank
- Cavmont Bank
- Finance Bank
- First National Bank
- Stanbic Bank
- Standard Chartered Bank
Additional banks are expected to on-board the SIRESS over time.
Customers can use the SIRESS to send payments (include payments of large value) to counter parties in the region. Transactions are processed in real-time, as the SIRESS operates on the principles of a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system.
Common Market for Eastern And Southern Africa (COMESA) Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS)
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS) is a regional payment and settlement initiative developed by the COMESA.
The operator and administrator of the REPSS is the COMESA Clearing House. The Clearing House is located in Zimbabwe to facilitate the payment and settlement of cross border payments amongst COMESA States. The Central Bank of Mauritius acts as the Settlement Bank, were final funds settlement of net positions is performed at end of day.
The REPSS operates on the credit push principles and payments are backed by funds pre-funded by commercial banks through the Bank of Zambia. Pre-funding ensure that clearing of payment instruction is done in short time period and guarantees settlement payment obligations are fulfilled. The system operates on the USD and EURO currency.
Advantages of REPSS
- Reduction in foreign correspondent banking charges through pre-funding on the REPSS
- Allows access to a wider international market throughout the COMESA region
- Reduction in settlement time
- Settlement finality based on the principles of the real-time gross settlement system