Standard Bank has enabled near real-time payments for Lesotho and Eswatini. This means that money sent by South African clients to accounts in these countries will only take two hours to arrive.
In the past, payments would take a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 48 hours (about 2 days) to clear.
“South Africa has strong, tight-knit relationships with its neighbouring countries,” explains Motlatsi Mkalala, Head: Main Market, Standard Bank South Africa at Standard Bank South Africa. “Many people from Lesotho and Swaziland come to SA in search of employment, leaving their loved ones back home. As such, they need to be able to send money to their families and in a fast, efficient manner.”
In recognition of what matters most to its clients, Standard Bank has now made it easier for foreign nationals to send money back home and for their loved ones to receive that money faster.
The new capability, which is also enabled for Namibia, allows Standard Bank SA clients (citizens or foreign nationals) to make cross-border payments to Standard Bank accounts in Lesotho or Eswatini via ATM, branch, digital channels like the Mobile App or Internet Banking or cellphone/USSD banking. Transactions will be sent to these countries within two hours on weekdays between 07h00 and 16h30 and Saturdays between 07h00 and 10h15.
“A faster clearing time is important for people sending money to their families as it means that the recipient can receive the money without delays and access the money shortly after it was sent – as it would be if the money were sent from within the country. They can then withdraw it in cash or use it in their bank account,” says Mkalala.
It is also important to note that the recipient in Lesotho, Eswatini or Namibia will not be charged additional fees when they receive funds into their account that were sent outside of the country, meaning that more money will then be available for emergencies, to purchase essentials like groceries and settle bills like school fees, or whatever the case may be.
“As Standard Bank, we are listening to our customers to understand what is most important to them, and to then respond appropriately to meet their needs to improve their lives and that of their loved ones – no matter where they may be located. It is critical for anyone to be able to send money to neighbouring countries and to receive these funds with ease and convenience.”