Cross-Border Cheques to be Phased Out

Cross-border cheques and bank drafts within the Common Monetary Area (CMA) are being phased out with effect from 22 July 2013 and will no longer be accepted by any banking institution within the CMA.

The CMA includes Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

For Namibian clients it means that, as from the 22nd of July 2013, no South African issued cheques can be deposited at any Namibian bank and that Namibian cheques issued to South African individuals or companies can no longer be deposited at any South African bank. Clients are requested to make use of Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT) for cross border payments in future.

The phasing out of cross-border cheques forms part of the implementation of the SADC Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS) initiative currently in progress.

“Cross-border cheques account for less than one percent of all cheque payments compared to approximately 10 percent of electronic cross boarder 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,” said Marlize Horn, Executive Officer: Marketing and Corporate Communication Services at Bank Windhoek.