Bye Laws - The National Clearing System​ - Bank Sentral Republik Indonesia
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October 22, 2020

Today, a customer at one bank is able to transfer funds between banks quickly, securely and a low cost, anywhere in Indonesia. This became possible after Bank Indonesia launched the National Clearing System to replace the local clearing systems provided by 105 clearing operators. In the initial launch, the Bank Indonesia National Clearing System (SKNBI) commenced operation in the Jakarta area on 29 July 2005.

Before the SKNBI, if a bank customer wanted to transfer funds to another bank in a different region or outside the local clearing area, the transfer would take considerable time and incur high bank charges. Why was this? Bank staff would have to process the funds transfers to different local clearing areas in other regions operating with different mechanisms. “The differences in local clearing mechanisms inevitably resulted in added processing time and higher costs.”

Moreover, the multilateral netting clearing system in operation between local clearing areas carried risks not covered by any existing mechanism, for example, if a clearing member defaulted on settlement of clearing results. To overcome this risk, BI, the clearing operator, introduced the failure to settle (FtS) mechanism. The FtS mechanism is related to the launching of the SKNBI.

Under the FtS, SKNBI member banks are required to set up a prefund in their settlement accounts at BI. The prefund will then be used to settle all the clearing obligations of member banks towards other banks. The SKNBI enables more rapid, secure, reliable and efficient processing of interbank transfers, an important part of the national payment system. 

Moreover, the SKNBI supports the paperless processing of interbank credit transfers to any part of Indonesia, thus doing away with the need for physical instruments as is the norm for local clearing systems. The paperless operation of transfers will also reduce bank operating costs otherwise expended on preparation of paper instruments and support more cost-efficient administration.  “Banks are steadily expanding their service outreach to customers.”

For BI itself, a key benefit of the SKNBI is time and cost efficiency, as paper instruments are no longer required. The SKNBI supports more extensive coverage of funds transfer services through clearing by providing an interregional clearing system for credit transfers. It also ensures compliance with risk management principles for the operation of multilateral netting clearing systems as stipulated in the Core Principles issued by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). 

About the Clearing System

What then is the SKNBI? It is the BI clearing system that encompasses debit clearing and credit clearing with settlement processed on a nationwide basis. Clearing itself is defined as the exchange of paper instruments or Electronic Financial Data (EFD) among clearing members for the account of the customers of clearing member banks or for the account of the banks themselves, with settlement conducted within a specified timeframe.

At this time, four clearing systems are in operation. The four systems are the Electronic Clearing System in Jakarta, the Automated Clearing System in Surabaya and Medan, the semi-automated local clearing system operating in 33 clearing areas managed by BI and 37 clearing areas managed by non-BI parties and the manual system used by 31 non-BI operators.

The SKNBI itself operates with two sub-systems: debit clearing and credit clearing. Debit clearing involves incoming and return clearing for interbank debit transfers supported by paper instruments, such as bilyet giro, cheques, debit notes and others. Debt clearing operates locally within each clearing area, and is carried out by the Local Clearing Operator. The Local Clearing Operator then calculates the debit clearing result based on debit EFD sent in by member banks. Funds transfers processed in debit clearing are not subject to any limit on amount.

Credit clearing, on the other hand, involves the paperless processing of credit transfers between banks. The credit clearing operator processes credit transfers nationwide. The National Clearing Operator is normally managed by a special unit at the BI Head Office in Jakarta. The credit clearing results are calculated by the National Clearing Operator on the basis of credit EFD sent in by members. The maximum amount that may be transferred through credit clearing is Rp 100 million. Any transfers above this amount must be processed through the BI Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system.
 

Clearing Surplus & Deficit

Not long ago, there were widespread reports of banks sustaining a clearing deficit. Lack of information and customer misunderstandings led to panic and massive withdrawals of funds. In fact, a clearing deficit or clearing surplus for a bank is quite the norm. It is easily possible that at one time a bank experiences a clearing deficit, but at another time books a clearing surplus.

What then is meant by clearing deficit? A clearing deficit arises when a bank has payment obligations that exceed claims. When a bank has a clearing deficit, these payment obligations will be covered from the cash prefund provided by the bank.  If there is insufficient cash prefund, the shortfall will be taken from the demand deposit account held by the bank at BI.  If these funds are still insufficient, the bank may avail the Clearing Intraday Liquidity Facility. If even after all this, there are still not enough funds, the remaining obligation can be covered by bank-held securities converted into a Short-Term Funding Facility.

On the other hand, when a bank has a clearing surplus, it receives more in claims during one clearing day compared to liabilities. When the bank has a clearing surplus or a credit position, the entire cash prefund advanced before clearing is returned to the settlement account of the bank, added to which is the crediting of the clearing result.

Clearing Charges

How much are the clearing charges? By any standard, not much. For debit clearing in a clearing area with automatic sorting of debit items, the charge is Rp 1,500 per transaction. For debit clearing in a clearing area with manual sorting of debit items, the charge is Rp 1,000 per transaction. Credit clearing is charged at Rp 1,000 per transaction. Daily average volume currently stands at about 300,000 transaction items.

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