The Bank of Botswana and Bankers Association of Botswana through the Botswana Automated Clearing House (a cheque and other payments instruments clearing house for Botswana banks) have revealed that effective January 1, 2024, the use of cheques will be discontinued.
A statement from the Bank of Botswana states that the discontinuation includes both the issuing and the acceptance/collection of cheques.
Recently, the statement says, use of cheques has been less effective due to the rise of alternative digital/electronic payment systems.
It says the discontinuation of cheques as a means of payment in Botswana is in recognition of availability of more cost-efficient, safe, secure and convenient digital/electronic payment instruments in the country.
The use of cheques has presented a number of challenges including the following;• a lengthy processing period (2 – 4 days to obtain value);
• Prone to fraud such as forgery of account holders’ signatures;
• Dishonoured payments due to issuing of cheques without sufficient funds in the account;
• Cheque processing require costly infrastructure to verify and authenticate validity of the cheque; and
• Adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID–19) on paper-based payment instruments including cheques.
As of December 31, 2023, all banks in Botswana will cease to accept cheques for deposit and/or encashment.
“The public is therefore advised, in addition to cash, to use alternative payments instruments such as debit/credit cards, electronic funds transfers, internet banking, mobile money transfer and other digital payments platforms and instruments,” reads the statement.
It says during the period leading to and beyond the discontinuation of cheques, banks in Botswana will embark on a drive to communicate extensively (both collectively and individually) to educate their clients on alternative payment methods, especially digital/electronic channels.
“Members of the public and affected corporations are encouraged to approach their banks to be offered alternative electronic payment methods or for any queries related to the process of termination of the usage of cheques,” the statement says.