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SAMRO launches new platform where members can check if they have unclaimed royalties

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) is excited to launch a new digital platform that will help members who have royalties accumulated and are due to them because of outdated banking details to receive their pay-outs.

In April 2021, SAMRO embarked on a momentous task of contacting thousands of members through TransUnion and via direct communication to request that they update their banking details. A list of affected members was also published on the organisation’s website.

The programme thus far has resulted in over R15 million in royalties being paid out to members who were successfully traced in the first part of the initiative.

SAMRO’s new platform, which is accessible through the SAMRO website, is designed to ensure that royalties are distributed to members effortlessly and timeously.

‘We are happy to announce that this new system will streamline the pay-out process which means that once members have successfully updated their banking details on the platform, their royalties will be efficiently transferred,’ says Mpho Mofikoe, SAMRO’s Chief Operations Officer.

SAMRO has been trying to pay royalties to its members, however, some payments bounced due to outdated banking details. The organisation had to find a means of getting members to update their banking details and information.

Mofikoe explains that when a SAMRO member earns more than the minimum threshold amount in the form of royalties, where the amount is significant enough to be paid out to the member, a purchase order is created. This purchase order then sits on the member’s account until the amount is ready to be released at designated payment intervals.

‘So, while SAMRO had the money, it couldn’t pay it over as the bank account details furnished by the affected members were outdated, or incorrect in one form or another. When payment is made, it simply bounces back and future payments are subsequently stopped until the member details are corrected or updated,’ she says.

Beneficiaries of the unclaimed royalties project:

The main beneficiaries of the project who were successfully paid included 76% of Authors and Composers, 14% Publishers, 10% Heirs and Testators.

Rapper and television personality, Nadia Nakai is one of the beneficiaries of this process of SAMRO tracing members to update their banking details and says she found her engagements with SAMRO to be pleasant and efficient. ‘I had a really good experience, as a matter of fact, they chased me to ensure that my banking details were updated so I could receive my pay-out.’ Nadia remembers being contacted by SAMRO via email earlier this year and when she didn’t respond, they followed up with a phone call, she said.

Nalize van Niekerk shares the same sentiment as Nakai, stating that she found the process seamless and very quick. ‘After I updated my banking details, I called to check if they had received them. They confirmed on the same day that my details were updated and I received my pay-out shortly after that. I was very impressed,’ exclaims the SAMRO member.

The initiative is ongoing and SAMRO is continually communicating with affected members with a view of distributing even more accumulated royalties.

How members can check if they have unclaimed royalties:

By simply logging onto the SAMRO website, members will go through a two-way verification process. Once verified, members can update their banking details to complete the process. Upon completion and once details have been uploaded, members will receive their pay-out within 14 working days.

SAMRO urges members who have unclaimed royalties and are eligible for payment to visit to submit the required documentation and receive their royalty pay-out within the specified timeline.

‘The platform is designed to ensure that members are compensated for their work, and we will continue to intensify our efforts to ensure that all members receive what is due to them by simplifying the process of updating banking details to receive unclaimed royalties,’ concludes Mofikoe.

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