Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) and Precise Financial Systems (PFS) have collaborated to unveil a new National Automated Clearing System (NACS), which allows all the Deposit Money Banks in the country to clear cheques within hours.
The banks have been test-running the infrastructure for 11 weeks ago and a total of N5 trillion worth of cheques from 10 million transactions has been processed through the new platform.
At the post go-live session in Lagos with representatives of the banks, Mr. Ade Shonubi, managing director of NIBSS, explained that the institution had been on the project for over 18 months. He added that the infrastructure would allow all the banks to achieve several payment and non-payment transactions.
NIBSS' boss said that as at today there are four clearing sessions. According to him, the advantage of having multiple clearing sessions was that the net amount against each bank is smaller so that risks are managed.
"With the new system, a cheque can be cleared within six hours, four hour or at whatever duration we agree", he said.
Dr. Yele Okeremi, Managing Director of PFS, the software firm behind NACS, at the session said the process of clearing cheques in all Nigerian banks has been simplified with the launch of NACS and that the successful completion of the project has the door for more Nigerian firms to take on more national challenges.
Okeremi commended the collaborative effort that exists between NIBSS and PFS, saying that the partnership has given birth to the new system that "allows bank customers to experience the benefits of shorter cheque clearing cycles, as it reduces operational cost of the banks because the clearing departments of the bank can work smarter and close earlier".
Mr. Kolawole Aminu, Head, Domestic Payments and Collections, Union Bank, described the new platform as user-friendly.
He added that "over N5 trillion that has been processed on the new platform just within 11 weeks. We are talking of over 10 million in terms of the volume of cheques. That tells you how much we do with this mode of payment."