Maximum value cheque

PASA will be Reducing the Maximum Value for Writing a Cheque

1 July 2019 – Originally posted on paymentsafrika.com

After careful consideration and consultation with key stakeholders, PASA will be reducing the maximum value for writing a cheque from the current value of R500 000 to R50 000, effective 01 May 2020.

Walter Volker, Chief Executive Officer of PASA believes that this limit reduction stems from the need for better risk management and the ongoing decline in the use of cheques as a payment method.

“Although less than 10% of signed cheques are for values above R50 000, the inherent risk of transactions above R50 000 is higher, based on potential fraud. A reduced cheque limit will thus reduce the risks associated with fraud losses and system failures,” says Volker

Volker adds: “The use of cheques has been declining at a rapid rate of approximately 30% year on year, driven by the shift in consumer habits, with South Africans opting for the convenience and safety of digital payments.”

There are a variety of interoperable digital alternatives for consumers ranging from Debit and Credit Card based payment solutions to Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Real-Time Clearing (RTC) payments with future developments being designed to enable new offerings. Card, EFT and RTC payments have experienced significant growth as consumers and businesses adopt these payment mechanisms over Cash and Cheque based payments. Digital payments are not only more efficient than Cheques, but are also safer and more convenient for consumers.

The South African Reserve Bank has also endorsed the reduction decision, which was informed by an extensive consultation process. The SARB supported the decision to reduce the item limit on the basis that it supports the National Payment System Framework and Strategy – Vision 2025 objective of promoting safer, cost-effective and efficient electronic payments in the National Payment System (NPS).

Volker also stressed that there would be no immediate changes.

“There will be sufficient preparation within the banks to effect the system changes, and firms will have sufficient time to adapt to the new rules before 1 May 2020,” Volker concludes.

Zimswitch conference

Trust key for digital economy — Mutandagayi

31 May 2019 – On The Herald

Zimswitch conference

Mr Ronald Mutandagayi

Costa Mano in Nyanga
Trust is the major ingredient and key asset of a successful digital economy that must be underpinned by sound risk management and secure digital platforms.

Speaking yesterday in his keynote address at the ongoing Zimswitch Payments Conference in Nyanga, ZB Financial Holdings group chief executive Ronald Mutandagayi, said as part of the national financial inclusion strategy, financial market infrastructure like Zimswitch were required to ensure consumer protection, education and awareness, which invariably creates an atmosphere of trust and confidence in electronic payments systems.

“As many of you would be aware, in the February 2019 Monetary Policy Statement, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya emphasised security in the use of electronic means of payments and directed for the adoption EMV  (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) compliance by March 31, 2019.

“This is aimed at ensuring our payments landscape maintains customer confidence and trust. The timing of this conference is opportune for our participants. Stemming from the Governor’s pronouncements, Zimswitch has set out an EMV roadmap for the country in line with the RBZ mandate,” said Mr Mutandagayi.

Mr Mutandagayi said the conference had been organised to facilitate the exchange of information and views on an array of topics to enable the sustained use of electronic systems in Zimbabwe.

“This conference is part of Zimswitch’s over-arching strategy goal of meeting customer needs through engagement. The conference is a strong initiative towards building strong collaboration and partnerships in supporting digital payments in Zimbabwe and the region. The theme for this year’s event is ‘A Digital Economy for Africa’. This theme is critical given the high usage of electronic payments platforms in Zimbabwe.

“The RBZ reports that over 90 percent of transactions are now taking place digitally. This makes Zimbabwe a unique case study for Africa. It is amazing how the transacting public has embraced and trusted digital payment solutions,” he said.

Mr Mutandagayi said in the early 90s the country saw the advent of the first Automated Teller Machines (ATM) but due to the cost of maintenance no single bank could cover the whole country.

“Banks concerned with the costs of independently running and maintaining a nationwide network of ATMs came together with a concept to share access to the few devices that were available at the time. The idea was to share access, expand access points and also attain economies of scale.

“The idea to share and collaborate led to the establishment of Zimswitch in 1994 through a partnership of eight founding financial institutions. It was trust that was at the heart of the founding partners to partner and share their assets which would have otherwise been used as a source of competitive advantage,” said Mr Mutandagayi.

He noted that some of the benefits of trust in the financial ecosystems are an increase in consumer confidence to use digital payments platforms and increased transaction volumes, which leads to more business for financial infrastructures like Zimswitch. The other benefits include more business on digital platforms for financial merchants, increased transactional revenues for the banks as well as improved transparency and revenue collection for the Government.

“Zimswitch now connects approximately 550 ATMs and 90 000 Point Of Sale (POS) devices, a huge jump from approximately 280 ATMS and 2 000 POS in 2001. Zimswitch has demonstrated its trust by extending collaboration to encampus international schemes. To date collaboration has been established with Mastercard while discussions are ongoing with VISA and UnionPay.

“Going forward Zimswitch will continue building on its reputation of trust and embrace partnerships and collaboration especially with FinTechs (Financial Technology companies) in the area of open APIs (Application Programming Interface), this will enable  convention of the future of payments in Zimbabwe. I wish to assure delegates that Zimswitch considers security and trust as essential elements of the digital community,” he said.

Zimswitch conference

JUST IN: Zimswitch hosts Digital Payments Conference

28 May 2019 – On The Herald

Zimswitch conference

Costa Mano Online News Editor
Payments technology company, Zimswitch,  will be hosting the second edition of the Zimswitch Digital Payments Conference in the resort town of Nyanga from tomorrow to Saturday.

Close to 150 local and international delegates are expected to take part in the event that will be held under the theme “Digital Economy for Africa”. The conference is an open forum that aims to foster collaboration and co-invention of the future of payments while presenting an active platform for discussion, engagement and networking.

SADC Banking Association (SADC BA) is also expected to participate.  SADC BA is a committee of all the bankers associations from the SADC region. They are the drafters of the payment strategy for SADC essentially driving regional coordination on payments over the SADC Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) platform.

In an interview, Zimswitch deputy chief executive Mr Zabron Chilakalaka said his company is positioned to be the local hub for high volume-low value transactions across SADC RTGS hence the importance of SADC BA at this conference as a key stakeholder.

“Our inaugural conference was aimed at sustaining the use of digital payments in Zimbabwe. As you are aware, the country witnessed a sharp rise in electronic payments over the years hence the need to maintain the digital momentum. We are glad participants have created sufficient headroom for incremental volume. In addition, there has been a good growth in infrastructure such as POS devices from approximately 60,000 terminals in 2018 to above 90,000 terminals in 2019. We are also seeing increased use of alternative channels, particularly mobile,” he said.

Mr Chilakalaka said at the inaugural conference, emphasis was also on fostering collaboration and interoperability and they are pleased that there has been great progress in that regard.

ZB Financial Holdings Limited chief executive officer Mr Ronald Mutandagayi will be the keynote speaker at the event that will have a rich list of speakers drawn from local and international payment brands and technology experts.

Said Mr Chilakala:”Our speakers this year come from some of the largest brands that are pushing the digital payments momentum in the country and beyond. The conference brings unique technology showcases by our partners and sponsors, EFT Corporation Zimbabwe, E-Solutions, Paynow and Tendo Electronics. Mastercard will host a networking dinner event on Thursday. We believe that attendees will have a great experience, sharing insights, shaping the digital economy for Africa and leave the resort destination of Nyanga with awesome memories of the mystic Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.”

Established in 1994 with a partnership of 6 banks, Zimswitch processed its first Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transaction in 1995 and had its first Point Of Sale (POS) transaction in 1996.

Between 2001 and 2015, the company introduced new payment streams ranging from V-payments (online shopping), ZIPIT (mobile money transfer) and also linked settlement into RTGS and went regional to link local banks into SADC thereby was voted the best e-commerce service provider.

Some accolades Zimswitch has collected include being the Best E-Commerce Platform Provider, 1st Runner-up for Customer Focused Innovation (CCAZ) 2017, 11th position and in business to business sector (MAZ Superband), 1st Runner-up in the Money Transfer Sector (MAZ Superbrands) 2017 and 2018. Zimswitch provides access to every customer of its participants mainly member banks, participating microfinance institutions and mobile money participants. The number of users is in excess of 5 million and the month of April witnessed approximately 2 million active users.

NamPay payment solution

Nam to get advanced payment solution

THE Payment Association of Namibia, in collaboration with local banks and payment service providers, will introduce NamPay, a new payment solution.

This solution will result in a major enhancement to the national payment system (NPS) for electronic fund transfers (EFT), and impact all stakeholders directly or indirectly utilising this service. This has been driven by a legislative need for greater efficiency in the processing of payments in the NPS.

Zimswitch Holds Zeepay Demo For Bankers

[Article originally posted on Techmag by  ]

Zimswitch Technologies yesterday demonstrated how their new Zeepay system works with bank officials at their offices in Harare.

Zeepay is an electronic transacting system for bulk payments to relieve pressure on the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system. The Zeepay system is run in conjuction with a South African company FinTeq whose officials were present.

The demonstration was meant to get the banking sector’s feedback and appreciation of the system.

The idea here is you know all our initiatives at Zimswitch, our payment initiatives, their success hinges on the participation by all,” said Zimswitch Electronic Funds Transfer channel manager Mr Terence Manhanga.

zimswitch eft channel manager terrence manhanga speaking to banking officials.

He added the demo was meant to ensure that the system has standards accepted by all.

“You don’t want a situation where by I will give as an example, before you send your Zipit, you have to know if it sends Zipit. SO when you are talking about a payment Ecosystem  all the initatives we walk on Zimswitch we want to make sure we don’t have a fragmented market,” he said. “This is the purpose of the demo to say yes we have been telling you about this new Electronic Funds Transfer system that can do ABC but please come and see for yourself. Get the first hand experience of what is actually happening.”

Through the banking sector’s input, Manhanga said the demo gave them a chance to tweak the system through their comments.

“You know when you talk about the transaction flows, I initiate a transaction that happens at your bank, that happens at Zimswitch, what happens at the recipient bank, so the purpose of the demo is to ensure that all questions are addressed, clarifications. We also get input, comments that will help us because we haven’t actually gone live. We still have a chance to panel beat our system in line with the requirements from the industry. So this is the purpose of the demo,” he said.

Most of the banking personnel from the IT and operations departments at the demo lauded the system for its effectiveness.

“The system is great given it processes multiple issues quickly which will help us handle customer complaints among other things,” said a participant.

Finteq partners with Zimswitch

Finteq Partners with Zimswitch to Deliver a Domestic Interbank Payment System

[Article originally published on Paymentsafrika.com]

Finteq partners with ZimswitchLeading Software development company, Finteq have announced a giant leap forward for Zimbabwe’s payment system.

The company’s most recent deal is with Zimswitch Zimbabwe in order to facilitate the delivery of a modern domestic interbank payment system.

Scheduled to be delivered in a series of phases, this system will support batch processing of debit and credit transactions and will eventually be extended to support Real-Time credit transactions.

The new Automated Clearing House will significantly increase the velocity of both payments and liquidity in the Zimbabwe inter-bank environment.

Payments being sent from one bank to another will be settled on the same day, and this system will support the view of moving towards a cashless society thus mitigating the challenges currently faced in Zimbabwe by the lack of physical cash.

The new Automated Clearing House is based on the open and interoperable ISO 20022 standards, similar to the solution which is currently being deployed in Namibia. It will make use of a standard recognised set of messages for the purposes of transporting payment instructions, recalls, queries and returns between participating banks.

The system offers the following high level functions:

  • Credit push
  • Request for debit (as opposed to debit pull) – with tracking for a configured period
  • Realtime Credit capability
  • Exception handling functionality
  • Auto balancing to settlement
  • Automatic interbank settlement calculations
  • Same-day, intra-day and bulk file processing (Debit and Credit)
  • Automatic store and forward capability for pre-dated transactions
  • Standard interfaces between ACH and banks
  • Automated file transfer mechanisms
  • Operator management tools for data transfers
  • Pre-validation of data before submitting to ACH (i.e. at the bank)
  • Data validation at the ACH before any processing takes place
  • Unique end-to-end identification of transactions through the entire transaction life-cycle
  • Automated processing of all transactions
  • Operator monitoring tools to ensure system health
  • Manual intervention processes for ACH operations staff to intervene in processing if necessary
  • Automated creation and distribution of balancing and processing reports for banks and ACH alike

Together with the system, Finteq will be offering the participant banks a standardised Payment Hub solution which facilitates integration into the Automated Clearing House, and removes barriers to entry for the banks, due to the economical pricing model.

Zimbabwe payment systems

Zimbabwe payment systems set for upgrade

[Article originally published on Finextra]

Zimbabwe payment systemsZimbabwe’s payment infrastructure is set to get a major overhaul after the country’s national EFT switch and clearing house called in software shop Finteq to help build an automated clearing house.

South Africa’s Finteq and Zimswitch will work on a phased rollout of a system that will support batch processing of debit and credit transactions and will eventually be extended to real-time credit transactions.

With payments being sent from one bank to another settled on the same day, Finteq says that the ACH will significantly increase the velocity of both transactions and liquidity in the Zimbabwe inter-bank environment.

By improving the electronic payments system, the partners also hope to wean Zimbabwe off of cash, a particularly important ambition in a country that suffers from a lack of physical banknotes.

The ACH will be based on the open and interoperable ISO 20022 standards and will offer a host of high level functions, including credit push, request for debit, real-time credit capability, exception handling functionality, auto balancing to settlement, and automatic interbank settlement calculations.

To encourage banks to sign on, they will be offered a standardised payment hub solution which facilitates integration into the ACH with an “economical pricing model”.

Resurgence of Payment Hubs

Resurgence of Payment Hubs

The Clearing House Association (TCA) is a trade group with headquarters in New York. The TCA was formed in 1853 and is the nation’s first banking association that today advocates on regulatory, legislative, and legal public policy issues on behalf of the largest U.S. commercial banks before policymakers, courts of law, and standards setters in the United States and abroad.

In a recent article, published on the TCA web site, Rob Hayden and Liz Oakes, McKinsey & Company provide some background to the origin of payment hubs and explain why they are “re-emerging as a key strategic platform for payment processing for banks of all sizes.”

Read the full article here: As Real-Time Payments Rise, Payment Hubs See a Resurgence

Keep up to date with the latest trends in the banking industry

There are many ways to keep up to date with the industry and the myriad changes taking place within it.  Not least of which is simply by making use of Google.  However, most of us are strapped for time and are always on the lookout for a single source of targeted information.  The SADC Banking Association’s newsletter is an excellent source of relevant news and resources, providing great insights and more.

Latest Trends in Banking IndustryIn the latest issue (12 October 2017), the Finteq Clearing House Gateway and Capture Solution is highlighted on Pages 19 and 20 – other articles include:

  • Comoros becomes a member of SADC
  • SIRESS User Group feedback
  • Training Info
  • The changing world of payments
  • Case studies

 Read the newsletter here.

Finteq Launch Workflow Solutions in Uganda

Finteq proudly launched their Workflow Solutions product, Finteq Workflow Solutions (FWS) to an enthusiastic group of banking executives in Uganda early in September.

Finteq’s Commercial Director – Rob Muller – whose main focus is on business development & growth in new markets, proudly presented the company’s offering at the Serena Hotel in Kampala.

The presentation was very well received & Rob was impressed with the questions that he fielded at the end of the session. “It is clear that there is a demand for the product in this region & the executives are ready to meet that demand’, said Muller.

Workflow Solutions Presentation in Uganda

Rob Muller presenting in Kampala

Finteq is a developer of payment solutions in the banking & financial services industries, in developed & developing markets.
The payment workflow solution is an image enabled payment and data origination utility which supports the controlled processing of routine business transactions to provide clean, error free data for subsequent transmission and processing.

You can read more about the solution at: https://www.finteq.co.za/solutions/finteq-workflow-solution/.