The year 2021 has seen many major advances in the use of technology. One major stabling block has been the ability to allow e-payment solutions to operate successfully in an environment limited by a mass number of people lacking access to the formal banking sector.
This situation has been partially addressed by the establishment of BankservAfrica’s Transactions Cleared on an Immediate Basis (TCIB) scheme. Starting as a pilot project in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), TCIB allows for cross-border low-value payments that enable the immediate clearing of single credit “push” transactions that are settled on a deferred basis.
BankServAfrica engaged a number of leading-edge companies to participate in the TCIB testing phase.
One of these companies is Virtual Technology Services of Namibia, described as a pioneer of e-money and e-payments solutions in Namibia with their PaynGo product. As part of the pilot project, the participating organisations were requested to demonstrate their ability to use their technology platforms to initiate cross border transactions between several SADC countries.
On 30 July 2021, VTS became the first organisation in SADC to successfully achieve the milestone in cross-border money transfer processing by transferring the amount of N$20 in local currency (USD 1.40) from their digital e-money platform located in Namibia to a bank account located in Zimbabwe.
What made this transaction unique was that the transaction was processed in real-time, which effectively meant the recipient in Zimbabwe received the money within seconds – not days – and that the transaction was converted to Zimbabwe’s trading currency.
This has effectively made low value low-cost digital payments a new reality!
According to Paul Rowney, VTS technical director, “the 30th of July was an exciting, mind-blowing day for VTS and the entire participating regional team, to be part of this new initiative and for being at the forefront as the first of two companies located in Namibia and Zimbabwe to successfully send and receive payments over the TCIB scheme”.
This means for the first time in SADC, cross border transacting becomes a seamless process. The region now has a platform that is easy to access, easy to use, and which enables low-value cross border payment remittance in real-time at a touch of a button. Over and above all this, it enables the sending and receiving of payments, specifically within SADC, from the Namibian VTS e-money wallet to other regional wallets and bank accounts.