The introduction of the United States dollar (USD) as a settlement currency on the SIRESS cross-border payment system is on track to go live in October 2018.
SADC High Value USD credit tranfer will work the same as ZAR tranfers work today.
The Committee of Central Bank Governors (CCBG) approved the inclusion of the USD as an additional settlement currency for SIRESS, in May 2017. The project to implement the change was launched in September 2017.
According to the SWIFT Business Intelligence statistics, in 2015, around 60% of intra-SADC cross-border transactions are denominated in USD, 35% in South African Rand (ZAR) and through correspondent banking arrangements with US correspondent banks. Currently SIRESS settles cross-border transactions for participating banks in the region in South African Rand (ZAR). The SIRESS multi-currency project is progressing well. The business model for the settlement of the USD in SIRESS was approved by the SADC Payment System Oversight Committee in March 2018.
The project team is currently reviewing and developing the necessary legal agreements. Other project activities such as market testing and training will follow in due course. Communication in this regard will be made available closer to the time. In the meantime, SIRESS continues to grow the volume and value of its transactions.
Another major milestone – SIRESS settled its one millionth transaction during February
During March 2018, SIRESS processed 28,305 transactions to the value of R107.61 billion.
The average number of transactions processed per day was 1,415, with an average value of ZAR5.38 billion.
The total number of transactions settled to date is 1,035,642 worth ZAR4.35 trillion.
(USD 368,85 Billion/EUR 299.16 Billion)*
Peak volume of 30.575 transactions was reached in November 2017 and the peak value of transactions was ZAR119.53 billion, in August 2017.
Presently, there are 14 countries participating in SIRESS: South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Botswana, Angola and DRC. There are 83 participating banks, made up of seven Central banks and 76 commercial banks.
USD/ZAR 1: 11,8128 and EUR/ZAR 1:14.5410 exchange rate as at end of March 2018 as per South African Reserve Bank published rates.
The SADC Banking Association acknowledges the contributions to this article of Magedi-Titus Thokwane(Project Manager: SIRESS) and Morongwa Mpete (Project Change Manager: South African Reserve Bank)