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”.