Cross-Border Rand-to-Rand Payment System

Cut your exchange fees and commission costs by sending payments to Southern African countries in Rands.


Want to send money from South Africa to family or friends in countries like Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia or Namibia? SIRESS, a new Rand-to-Rand cross-border payment solution, is your cheapest way of transferring money to participating banks within Southern Africa.

No matter how much you transfer, you’ll pay a single flat fee of R125 per transaction. Best of all, your beneficiary can control the exchange rate by choosing when they withdraw Rands from their bank into their local currency.

How does it work?

You’ll be able to send money in Rands – whether it’s a gift, money that you owe someone or a payment for a product or service – to a bank in another African country which then receives it in Rands (Current Exchange Control requirements still apply). Once the bank receives the payment, your beneficiary simply needs to go to that bank and draw out the money in their own currency. In this way, the recipient takes on the cost of the exchange rate rather than you.

Why is it cheaper?

Up until now, all other cross-border payment systems have been US Dollar based. So, if you transferred money from South Africa to Malawi, for example, you’d pay for two rounds of exchange – one from Rands into Dollars, and then again from Dollars into Malawian Kwacha. Then there’s the cost of the transaction itself, and a commission fee added in as well.

With the new SADC Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS) payment system, you’re transferring Rands from South Africa to Rands into the account of the foreign bank. This means you save money by only paying once for the exchange to happen. There are also no commission fees involved at Bidvest Bank.

Where can i make a SIRESS payment?

Simply go into any Bidvest Bank branch in South Africa to process your SIRESS payment. You don’t need to go into any special foreign exchange branch, and you don’t even need a bank account in South Africa. All you need is a bank account number for wherever you’re sending your payment, as well as your identity document and proof of residence*, if you’re not already a Bidvest Bank client.

*Documentation required in terms of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001

Can I transfer money to anywhere in Southern Africa?

You can make a SIRESS payment to a selected range of participating banks within certain Southern African countries.

Want to send money to someone in Southern Africa and pay as little as possible? Visit a Bidvest Bank branch and make a SIRESS payment today.

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