Bank Windhoek finally bans cross-border cheques

Bank Windhoek has phased out the use of cheques and bank drafts within the Common Monetary Area (CMA).

Starting from 22 July no South African cheques will be deposited at Namibian banks and Namibian cheques issued to South African individuals or companies will no longer be deposited at any South African bank.

Clients are requested to make use of electronic fund transfers for payments instead.

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

“Cross-border cheques account for less than 1% percent of all cheque payments compared to approximately 10% 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.

Business and individual clients will still be able to make cross-border payments via Bank Windhoek’s internet banking application or alternatively make use of the bank’s over-the-counter internet-based cross border EFT payments.

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