South African Multiple Option Settlement (SAMOS) system


SAMOS logo

The SAMOS system is a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system owned and operated by the SARB. It was introduced on 9 March 1998 and is linked to various participating banks, clearing systems and operators.

The SAMOS system facilitates the settlement of domestic individual high-value payment transactions, retail transaction batches, and bond and equity market settlement obligations. It is an automated system that settles obligations in real- time or in a delayed settlement arrangement.

Each settlement participant has an account with the SARB from which interbank settlement obligations are settled. Participants must provide enough funds to ensure that the settlement system functions smoothly. Settlement in SAMOS is considered final and irrevocable and is based on a pre-funded (credit push) principle. When the necessary funds are available, settlement takes place immediately. If a bank has insufficient funds available in its settlement account, the SAMOS system will automatically grant a loan to the bank against acceptable collateral and settlement will then take place. However, when there are neither sufficient funds nor sufficient collateral for a loan, settlement will not take place. 

Related documents

SAMOS Institutions as at May 2024
SAMOS Participant Charges - 2024
SAMOS standard settlement schedule - Saturday
SAMOS standard settlement schedule - Weekday

History of SAMOS

In the late 1980s, central banks and standard-setting bodies became increasingly concerned about the risks associated with payment systems. With global efforts to address these risks and South Africa’s reintegration in the world economy in the early 1990s, the industry recognised that the national payment system required better organisation and regulation.

The Bank for International Settlements’ Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures published reports and guiding principles on how to address the risks and regulatory oversight responsibility of payment systems.

As early as 1993, the SARB initiated discussions with the banking industry to modernise the domestic payment system. In April 1994, the SARB launched a project to reform the system by formulating a strategy that would enable South African banks and other intermediaries in the payment system to align the needs of the domestic economy with developments in the international community. The process culminated in the SARB’s publication in 1995 of the South African National Payment Systems Framework and Strategy, commonly known as the “Blue Book”.

The SAMOS system was launched on 9 March 1998. The settlement arrangement facilitated by the SAMOS system placed South African settlement practices on par with international best practice.

Settlement system participants
ABSA Bank Limited CLS Bank International
Sasfin Bank Limited
Access Bank (South Africa) Limited Discovery Bank Limited  SADC Integrated Regional Bank
African Bank Limited Finbond Mutual Bank Standard Chartered Bank - Johannesburg Branch
Albaraka Bank Limited FirstRand Bank Limited State Bank of India
Bank of China Limited Johannesburg Branch Grindrod Bank Limited The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited
Bank Zero Mutual Bank Habib Overseas Bank Limited  The South African Reserve Bank
Bidvest Bank Limited HBZ Bank Limited Tyme Bank Limited
BNP Paribas SA HSBC Bank plc - Johannesburg Branch UBank Limited
Capitec Bank Limited Investec Bank Limited VBS Mutual Bank

China Construction Bank Corporation Johannesburg Branch

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Johannesburg Branch)  
Citibank N.A Nedbank Limited  

SAMOS Customer Support Centre

SAMOS operates seven days a week. The settlement day starts at one second after midnight and closes at midnight.

Operational hours
Weekday November to March April to October
Monday – Friday 07:30 – 17:00 06:30 – 17:00
Saturday Closed Closed
Sunday & public holidays Closed Closed
Note: These are the SAMOS Customer Support Centre operational hours and not the times when the SAMOS system is available. The SAMOS system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact details
Contact numbers: 0861 SAMOS2 (0861 726672) or 012 313 4961
Emergency number: 082 805 6822
Email address:

SAMOS maintenance schedule

Maintenance is done on the SAMOS system every Sunday between 06:00 and 17:00. During this time, SAMOS might not be available to participants for settlement.

SAMOS renewal

The SARB is working with the payment industry to replace the existing real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system with a new-generation RTGS solution. The new system will cater to requirements stemming from payment innovations, regulatory changes and the evolving business landscape.

The objective of the project is to improve integration with external systems and make processes more visible so that the system is easier to use. The new RTGS system will enable modular design, quicker development turnaround time, and reduced time to market for changes made in the payment environment. It will also cater for multi-currency functionality and will offer rich message content.

Related documents

Newsletter - 12 November 2018
RTGS replacement project - change readiness assessment


The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is the operator of the South African Multiple Option Settlement (SAMOS) system, the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system that facilitates settlement of domestic transactions in South Africa. Self-assessments are conducted against the PFMI issued in April 2012 by the Bank for International Settlements' Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). A self-assessment outlines the observance of the principles based on the status of operations of the SAMOS system.

Related documents

SAMOS PFMI Self-assessment report 2016

SAMOS PFMI Public Disclosure 2020

SAMOS PFMI Public Disclosure 2022

      ​01 - 31         ​: ​SAMOS Change Freeze
      10         ​: ​SAMOS System Maintenance
      ​14         :​ CLS Communication Contingency​
      ​01 — 10         ​: ​SAMOS Change Freeze
      ​14         ​: VISA'S BCP Testing
      17         : DR/Alternate site testing
      13         : BANKSERV'S BCP Testing
      20         : STRATE’s BCP Testing
      20         : 3rd Level contingency testing for SAMOS (MIRS)
      20         : SAMOS MIRS BCP Testing
      08         : Masterdard’s BCP Testing   
      09         ​: ​DSS Operational Risk Assessment 
      20 - 31         ​: Annual extended failover of SAMOS production to the Alternate site
      22         : SAMOS Ringfenced Extended Failover to the Alternate Site
      ​01 - 20         ​: Annual extended failover of SAMOS production to the Alternate site
      20         : SAMOS Failback to the Primary Site
      14         : 3rd Level contingency testing for SAMOS (MIRS)
      11         : Mastercard's BCP testing
      14         : SAMOS MIRS BCP testing
      18         : VISA’s BCP Testing
      09         : STRATE’s BCP Testing
      16         : BANKSERV’s BCP Testing  
      19         : DR/ Alternate site testing
      19         : Enterprise Wide BCP Exercise
      ​01 — 31         ​:  ​SAMOS Change Freeze









01 - 10



SAMOS Change Freeze