COMESA’s Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS)
Stockholm, October 3rd, 2012. CMA Small Systems AB together with COMESA Clearing House and The Bank of Mauritius acting as Settlement Bank have successfully launched the Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS), aiming to create common payment area in African Member States of COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa).
At the same time The National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) and The Bank of Mauritius (BOM) being in addition to The Settlement Bank of REPSS an ordinary REPSS participant together wither other pioneer Central Banks in the COMESA region have officially announced start of LIVE operations in order to improve trading climate amongst the member countries.
Both COMESA’s REPSS, NBR’s RIPPS (Rwanda Integrated Payment Processing System) and BOM’s MACSS (Mauritius Automated Clearing and Settlement System) have been provided by CMA of Sweden.
REPSS is unique of its kind payment system inspired by the will of promoting, improving and expanding trading within COMESA countries. An important milestone achieved by CMA Small System AB and the COMESA itself.
With REPSS, Member States are able to transfer/receive funds within COMESA in the same day, at a much lower price and in a safer way. These are only few of the abundant benefits making REPSS a great system based on a smart concept and technology.
What shapes REPSS as a more advanced system is furthermore the support not only for inter bank transactions between Central banks, which is implied, but also individual Customers transfers. This last option is carried out in a fast and smooth process, starting with the individual Customer (debit party) presenting the request for the cross-border payment to its local Commercial Bank, which in turn it will submit the equivalent payment to the local Central Bank. Next step is performed by REPSS, that behaving as a Clearing House, will process and send the funds to the foreign Central Bank. The beneficiary (credit party), is accredited with a local payment only after the Central Bank send the payment to the credit party’s Commercial bank.
COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) was established in December 1994 in order to replace the former Preferential Trade Area (PTA) which had existed from the earlier days of 1981.
COMESA was formed 'as an organization of free independent sovereign states which have agreed to co-operate in developing their natural and human resources for the good of all their people' and as such it has a wide-ranging series of objectives which necessarily include in its priorities the promotion of peace and security in the region.
However, due to COMESA's economic history and background its main focus is on the formation of a large economic and trading unit that is capable of overcoming some of the barriers that are faced by individual states..
COMESA's current strategy can thus be summed up in the phrase 'economic prosperity through regional integration'. With its 19 member states, population of over 389 million and annual import bill of around US$32 billion with an export bill of US$82 billion COMESA forms a major market place for both internal and external trading. Its area is impressive on the map of the African Continent covering a geographical area of 12 Million (sq km). Its achievements to date have been significant.
For further information about REPSS:
• COMESA WEB site REPSS LIVE operations press release - http://www.comesa.int/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=395:comesas-regional-payment-and-settlement-system-repss-goes-live&catid=5:latest-news&Itemid=41;
• The Bank of Mauritius REPSS LIVE operations press release - https://www.bom.mu/?ID=414532;
• The National Bank of Rwanda REPSS LIVE operations press release - http://www.bnr.rw/pressrelease.aspx?id=38.