A system for reducing the time and cost associated with cross-border payments is the focus in this edition of Business Day Spotlight.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Ruhling Herbst, programme sponsor for TCIB at BankservAfrica.

BankservAfrica is the largest automated payments clearing house in Africa. The business clears and processes bank card, ATM and EFT transactions between the country’s banks as part of the SA National Payments System.

The company has been working for years to implement a system that will make it simple for people to send and receive money across borders within a short space of time. The movement of people and goods on the continent, together with the encouragement of greater trade in the region, creates the need for simpler and more affordable forms of payment.

In July, BankservAfrica successfully processed its first real-time cross-border transactions between Zimbabwe and Namibia through its Transactions Cleared on an Immediate Basis (TCIB) payments service.

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Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

Where international payments and receipts can take as long as five days to settle in some instances, Herbst says their new system has this down to just a few minutes.

Herbst says their main focus at the moment is getting more banks in the region to sign up for the service, which will in turn grow the potential number of users for the facility. 

BankservAfrica has also made the system open to other payments providers outside of banks, such as mobile operators or financial technology platforms that want to offer cross-border payments.

Topics of discussion include the following: reasons cross-border payments remain a challenge despite advancements in payments technology; BankservAfrica’s transactions cleared on an immediate basis payments service explained; what it means to have a truly open payments system; the role of regional and national regulators in putting such a system together; and what it will take to make TCIB mainstream.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a TimesLIVE Podcasts production.


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