What is the National Payments System (NPS)
Namibia’s financial market infrastructure consists of various systems, networks and technological processes needed for conducting and completing financial transactions. These systems, networks and processes together make up the National Payment System (NPS). The NPS, which is managed, controlled and organised by the Payments Association of Namibia (PAN), comprises the most up-to-date infrastructure for transferring money in Namibia, as well as among banking institutions, merchants, payment service providers and customers, but also for using payment instruments such as debit and credit cards and electronic fund transfers (EFTs).
A Payment System Revolution
Namibia is soon to be on the forefront of a global financial system revolution.
The Payment Association of Namibia, in partnership with local banking institutions and payment service providers, will be introducing a brand new solution, called NamPay. The new payment solution will result in a major enhancement to the National Payment System (NPS) for Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) and impact all stakeholders directly or indirectly utilising or this service. This has been driven by a legislative need for greater efficiency in the processing of payments in the NPS.
The existing EFT system managed by Namclear and the domestic banks will be replaced by a state-of-the-art, internationally recognised messaging standard (ISO-20022) solution that introduces greater efficiency, safety and effective control of the domestic EFT component of the NPS.
NamPay presents an incredible opportunity for the Namibia NPS to be among the most technologically advanced on the continent. It will not only bring Namibia into the mainstream of the digitisation of national payments systems, but will add considerable value to all users of the NPS, and ultimately the Namibian public.
This exciting solution will comprise of three new payment streams across debit orders, credit payment transfers and near-to-real-time credit payment transfers that will transform all EFT processing in Namibia. Given the impact that NamPay will have on Namibia as a whole, all banking consumers will be transitioned from using the existing system to the new processing standard over the course of 18 months from the date of implementation.
Delivery of an Efficient National Payments System
The implementation ensures compliance with the Bank of Namibia (BON) directive to ensure efficiency within the National Payments System
The delivery of the NamPay solution has been completed by means of a national project involving all parties involved in EFT payments clearing such as domestic banks, payment service providers, clearing house and the Payments Association of Namibia (PAN). The project has endeavoured to deliver these efficiencies which include:
- EFT Payments are processed fast, safely and at a reasonable cost
- Risks involved in efficiencies are appropriately managed across the value chain
- Ensure operation without disruption in the event of a sudden financial, operational or natural crisis and/or disaster
- Incorporation of internationally accepted principles
- Ensure that the status of EFT payments are certain at all times
- Ensure that the EFT payment services are efficient and reliable, and are responsive and relevant to customer needs
- The rules relating to the processing order of payment instructions should be transparent and should disallow any preferential treatment of payment instructions
The project has been in execution from 2015 and will completed by the end of 2019. It set out to deliver the ISO20022 standard in alignment with meeting compliance requirements in Namibia. Similar projects have been or are in process of being executed in United Kingdom Eurozone, USA, Australia, South Africa, Japan and India, to name a few.
When will NamPay Affect Consumers
NamPay will be rolled out to the Namibian businesses and broader pubic through an 18-month long period where customers will be seamlessly migrated by their respective banks. During this period, the current EFT system will run in parallel such that there is no impact to businesses and individual consumers during the migration. Banks will communicate directly with their customers well in advance such that any impacts are understood and managed prior to moving to the NamPay system. Customers are encouraged to engage their financial institutions for information specific to how they will be impacted.