Just 10 years after setting up in Pretoria with a team of 24 payments and IT experts, the Perago Group now offers central banks around the world its re-engineering financial infrastructures.
Harnessing skills that played a major role in the implementation of a modernised realtime interbank settlement system for South Africa's central bank, Perago has in its first decade installed realtime gross settlement systems at central banks in a wide range of countries including Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Uganda, Sudan, Egypt, Sweden and Norway.
In fact, it is regarded as one of a small number of global competitors in its space.
Perago designed its own real time gross settlement system – Perago:rtgs – so that it could be scalable to meet the needs of highly sophisticated and emerging economies, some of which had been using outdated batch-oriented, end-of-day settlement processes.
"From the outset Perago's mission has been to enable our clients – invariably central banks – to modernise their national financial infrastructure through consultancy, software and knowledge transfer," says CEO and founder Philip Tromp. "The main focus of such initiative is to reduce systemic risk while enabling greater efficiency in the payment system and settlement practices. Perago is very proud that its clients have achieved high levels of economic and efficiency benefits."
Transformation also meant having to change the business practices that existed between banks, to make them more structured, regulated, formalised and integrated.
Perago's software enables a central bank to offer safe and secure mechanisms to banks required to transfer value within the banking system. The fact that such transfers can be made in realtime across the banks' accounts at the central bank, as opposed to traditional practices of end of day settlement, enables a range of economic activity with transaction certainty that was not previously easy to accomplish.
A key feature of the Perago product suite is the level of integration that can be achieved between the various economic drivers that are under the control of the central, including credit extension to the banking system, government funding through the issuance of financial instrument and effective government payment mechanisms.
"The systems Perago specialises in provide the cornerstone for modern economies and the foundation upon which electronic and risk-free transaction services can be developed by the banks and financial markets," says Tromp.
In 2005, Perago became part of the Milan-based SIA-SSB Group, a financial service provider to the European and international financial community.
This year, Perago has already signed contracts to deliver solutions in Palestine and the Honduras.