Money transfers a tedious exercise

27 September 2019 | Banking

Since Monday this week, cross-border electronic fund transfers (EFTs) are being more closely controlled and restricted.

Contrary to an earlier statement by the Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN), this change appears to have a greater impact on the public than originally expected.

Bank Windhoek customers have come to the realisation that they are not only expected to confirm, but provide significantly more information – including personal data – of payees resident in the Common Monetary Area (CMA). Some information must be re-entered on a case by case basis.

“On 23 September 2019 Bank Windhoek, in compliance with the implementation of the Common Monetary Area Payment System Oversight Committee directive, successfully adjusted the iBank services to meet international standards relating to anti-money laundering practices,” was the bank's response to an enquiry as to why the measures introduced were much stricter than what had been indicated in the BAN press release.

Remitters of payments are now obliged to specify the country, province, city, first and last name of recipient, gender, name of the recipient institution, reason for payment, residential address, and in the case of travel money, exact passport data.

Clients of Citibank, Capitec Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Bidvest Bank, South African Reserve Bank, Grobank, SASFIN Bank, Mercantile Bank, Tyme Bank and the South African Post Office can in future only be paid by SWIFT transaction.

This is not only more expensive but has recipients waiting for at least two days before they receive their money. This was confirmed by Karl-Stefan Altmann, Nedbank Namibia's executive for corporate and investment banking, who points out to customers that this is likely to also apply to normal EFTs.

First National Bank does not expect any serious problems.

FRANK STEFFEN

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