2001-04-05: South African Reserve Bank Press Release
Last Modified Date:
2020-10-08, 08:15 PM
Media > Media Releases
The Reserve Bank has embarked on a phased implementation of certain risk reduction measures in the National Payment System (NPS). These measures relate specifically to the settlement of inter-bank obligations arising from the exchange of payment instructions in the Payment Clearing Houses (PCHs) and the risks involved in current processes and practices within these payment streams, in order to implement further strategies contained in the South African National Payment System Framework and Strategy document (the "Blue Book") and attain further compliance with the Bank for International Settlements "Core Principles for Systemically Important Payment Systems". Of specific importance are the measures to discontinue the practice of back-dating PCH batch settlements by moving to the same-day settlement of these batches in the inter-bank South African Multiple Option Settlement (SAMOS) system and to remove high-value payments from inappropriate payment streams. Approximately 78% of all the values settled in the SAMOS system are settled on a same-day basis. The remaining 22% represent the settlement of the PCH batches. Currently, the PCH batch settlement figures are received from the operator on a daily basis between 17:00 and + 23:00 but are only settled in the SAMOS system at 07:00 on the next business day. This means that there is an overnight exposure of more than 8 hours in the settlement system before final and irrevocable settlement of the PCH batches occurs. In terms of international best practice and, as a minimum standard, final settlement should occur at the end of the day of value. The Reserve Bank will on 2001-05-07 commence with the practice of settling the PCH batches in the SAMOS settlement system immediately after receipt of settlement data from the operator. This will reduce the risk involved in overnight exposure in the South African settlement system.Settlement risk can be further reduced by removing high-value payments from inappropriate payment streams. Participants (banks) in the retail PCH payment streams have, therefore, agreed to implement measures and systems to remove high values from these payment streams in order to reduce the settlement risk and to increase the number of payments settled on an immediate finality basis in the SAMOS system. Participants have agreed to limit the item values for batch settlement in the Paper, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Credit and ZAPS payment streams to R 5 million per item, the EFT Debit stream to R 500 000,00 per item and SASWITCH transactions to R10 000,00 per item.The Reserve Bank supports these measures and deems them essential for enhancing the safety and efficiency of the National Payment System. These measures will be phased in over the course of the year and will be finalised by 2001-12-31.Enquiries about the implementation of same-day settlement of PCH batches in the SAMOS system may be directed to the National Payment System Department of the Reserve Bank at telephone number (012) 313-3492. Enquiries about the implementation of measures by participants (banks) to limit the item values in the retail PCH payment streams should be directed to the client’s bank or to the Payments Association of South Africa at telephone number (011) 370-3681.