ELECTRONIC Fund Transfers (EFT) to and from Namibia banks to certain South African Banks will no longer be possible after 23 September this year.
The Bankers Association of Namibia issued a statement in which informs the public Namibian bank clients who currently receive money from, or make EFT payments to Citibank, Capitec Bank Limited, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, Bidvest Bank Limited, the South African Reserve Bank, Grobank Limited, SASFIN Bank, the South African Post Office, Mercantile Bank Limited and Tyme Bank Limited will no longer be able to do so.
“Due to a directive by the Common Monetary Area Payment System Oversight Committee (CMA CPOC), clients of their member banks will no longer be able to receive money from, or make EFT payments to these banks in South Africa. However, all other banks will not be affected by the directive and clients will still be able to receive SWIFT payments from these banks.”
Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini and South Africa shared common infrastructure to process EFT transactions via Bankserv, seen as SA domestic transactions. With the independence of Namibia an own domestic EFT processing system (Namclear) was established to clear and settle Namibian domestic transactions, but Namibia was still allowed to continue to process other CMA EFT transactions via Bankserv in the past.
“The CMA CPOS’s International FATF16 rules and regulations require the cross-border messages to be enriched with additional information to comply as of 23 September 2019. Unfortunately, some predominantly South African banks indicated that it will not be viable for them to make the required system changes and therefore they will no longer be able to receive such EFT transactions.”
The directive affects automatic EFT beneficiaries and stop orders.
According to the statement transactions to ABSA, FNB South Africa, Standard Bank SA and Nedbank SA will only require a mandatory update of beneficiary details such as full names and addresses.
“Clients affected by the directive should make use of SWIFT payments which is a compliant, secure and reliable way to make international payments. Banking clients can ask their banks about alternative payment options, but SWIFT payments could be done to the above-mentioned banks. It may take longer to receive funds from these banks into your Namibian account, so consider the impact that a delay in receiving money can have on your cash flow and commitments,” the banking association advised.
The association advised that Namibian banking clients should contact their respective banks directly for further payment options and information.
The CMA CPOC issued the directive in 2018 that changed the payment information requirements for Common Monetary Area (CMA) transactions to meet international standards relating to anti-money laundering practices.