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A blog about payments modernisation, industry collaboration and connecting economies in a digital age


WHAT DO PAYMENT SYSTEMS HAVE TO DO WITH FINANCIAL INCLUSION?


Well, quite a lot, actually.

Ask a central bank or treasury department in any of the 55 African countries what their economic priorities are, and sooner or later you will hear something about promoting financial inclusion. It’s the holy grail of economic development - giving people with little or no wealth access to safe money storage, credit, insurance and low cost transactions - in other words, giving them the tools for greater prosperity. There is a dawning realisation in those same central banks and treasuries, and in the world’s aid agencies - that the first step on the path to financial inclusion is access to a sound national payments system.


DESIGNING A NATIONAL PAYMENTS SYSTEM – THE AFRICAN WAY

We often get asked: “How do you build a National Payments System and where do you start?” This is a common conversation within the remit of the African economy, as financial service providers as well as public and private sector look for common ground from which to build a better payments infrastructure.

It is critical for players on the continent to take a step back and ask themselves why, how, who, when and more importantly what for? A well designed, modern and effective payments system cannot lead to economic development and financial inclusion. However well designed payment systems can support growth in the economy and aid financial inclusion – making conversations around ‘if’ redundant – and moving the question of ‘when’ further up the discussion table.


SWIFT Africa Regional Conference May 2017

SWIFT Africa Regional Conference May 2017

Photo:  L to R: BankservAfrica team: Scott Rossouw, Cookie Mbuya, Mal Laserwane, Martin Grunewald, Frans Stander, Chris Hamilton and Xolelwa Mwiinde

BankservAfrica was the platinum sponsor at SWIFT Arc 2017 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.  Despite the unrest, we welcomed delegates to our stand and 120 delegates from over 30 countries in Africa joined our NPS workshop that we co-hosted with McKinsey and Co.


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