As Malawi is hosting the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) summit, the country is in the process of testing banking transactions using two regional electronic payment systems which are under COMESA and SADC.
Mbane Ngwira, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) spokesperson said the country will soon fully go live on the two systems which will significantly aid international trade and expected to cut costs.
“There have not been any major problems in the implementation of the two regional payment systems,” he said.
The spokesperson explained that after fruitfully testing the systems they will engage the business community on a sensitization campaign before the system would be ready for launching.
“RBM has made progress and has already opened two accounts in Dollars and Euros. What is remaining now is to connect to commercial banks,” said Mbane.
The RBM’s Payment System 2012 Annual Report has also captured the development; it says that the SADC Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS) is a project being developed to settle transactions including real time credit transfers, interbank loans and foreign exchange deals.
The COMESA’s Regional Electronic Payment Settlement System (REPSS) will, however maintain intra-regional trade through gross real time settlement hence economic growth within the region according the report.
“It will also be used for SADC direct debits, SADC card and ATMs, and SADC securities,” the report says before noting that the SIRESS legal agreements on the project were scheduled to end end-February 2013 but go on live preparation by July 19 and go live by July 22.
According to the report stakeholders are currently evaluating participants’ agreements with the COMESA clearing, final test runs are earmarked for June 2013 and the country is expected to operationalise REPSS by end August 2013.