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Interoperable real-time payments draws closer 

by Media Xpose

PayShap, South Africa’s first low value, interbank, real-time digital payments service will be offered by participating banks in 2023. Born out of the payments industry-led Rapid Payments Programme, PayShap is a major milestone for the payment industry aimed at addressing the key goals recognised by the South African Reserve Bank’s Vision 2025 for financial inclusion, a reduced dependency on cash and the development of a modern, integrated platform for digital payments.

“Making a low value (under R3 000) payment to an account at any other bank should be quick, easy and affordable,” says Mpho Sadiki, Head of Real-time Payments at BankservAfrica.

The underbanked, cash dominant market will benefit the most

“While most banked South Africans will enjoy the convenience of this service, we believe it is the underbanked, cash dominant market that will benefit the most,” he says.

PayShap reduces the need for cash on hand which makes it a safer option for South Africans to use in their daily transactions including taxi fares, barbers/hair salons, school fees, restaurants or to reimburse friends or family.

Consumers will be able to access PayShap through their banks’ selected banking channels such as internet banking, banking apps or their bank’s USSD. PayShap will initially be offered by four banks, including Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank. The roll-out will then extend to more banks who will start offering the service in the months to follow.

Banking institutions support PayShap

“As a full-service financial institution that serves customers from all walks of life, Absa is delighted to be among the first cohort of banks to bring PayShap to the South African market. As the payments ecosystem evolves providing safe, quick, and convenient solutions is vital to enable greater financial inclusion. We look forward to the official launch of PayShap in 2023 and continue to work hand-in-hand with the industry to ensure a successful roll-out,” says Charl Smedley, Absa’s Head of Payments.

Ravi Shunmugam, CEO of FNB EFT Product House, says, “FNB is proud to be a founding member of this modernised, inclusive payment infrastructure and we look forward to bringing innovative instant-payment solutions to our customers.”

“Ensuring accessible payments solutions for all South Africans has been a key focus at Nedbank, evidenced by the number of innovative services introduced to date, for example Tap on Phone and Money Message, which are designed to empower merchants to accept digital payments. Our participation in this industry initiative is a declaration of our commitment to ensuring that all types of payments offered by Nedbank are simple enough to be understood and adopted by all,  accessible, and most importantly, affordable allowing value exchange across all parts of our economy,” says Chipo Mushwana, Nedbank Executive for Emerging Innovation.

“Our purpose is to drive Africa’s growth. Our participation in the PayShap programme to build a payment service which truly serves the banked and underbanked customer.  It enables us to continue to accelerate financial inclusion through safe, affordable, accessible and convenient digital solutions,’’ says Rufaida Banoobhai, Head of Payment SA, at Standard Bank.

Released to the market in two stages

The PayShap service will be released to the market in two stages. The first will see the launch of the instant clearing feature which includes the ability to either pay-by-account (using account details) or pay-by-proxy (using a unique identifier such as a cellphone number). The second stage will introduce an additional request-to-pay function which makes it possible for a person to request payment and receive money securely and immediately in their bank account.

“We are excited to see this collaborative partnership between BankservAfrica and the banking community to bringing PayShap to the market and making it part of everyday life. PayShap will kick-start the economy of the future and create the opportunity for digital enablement and inclusion of all South Africans,” concludes Sadiki.

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