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

Sibos to Africa

We’re entering a new phase of financial services in which financial institutions must reappraise and re-engineer their business models to suit the evolving needs of their customers. To do so, they will need to ensure that banking services meet the customer wherever they are, embedded in the products and channels they choose to use. 

Social Payments in South Africa Part 2 – The payments choice

In part 1, I outlined our unusual South African situation with a “dual” economy of developed and emerging communities. I contrasted the striking progress of super-convenient, low-cost social payments in China and elsewhere with the slower, less inclusive but safer digital payments evolution in the West, and asked whither SA?

Social payments in South Africa Part 1 – A tale of two economies

I am a new arrival in a country with two economies:  one “developed”, the other “emerging”, and many people in transition between them.  I have been thinking about how the payments system can best serve everyone in an era of digital transformation. 


BANKSERVAFRICA welcomed 150 delegates from over 30 countries to their National Payments workshop hosted at SWIFT ARC 2018 held in Kigali, Rwanda


Part 3 of 3: The heroic ambitions of Payments Modernisation

There are a number of countries that have taken on the mantle of payments modernisation pioneers. BankservAfrica has seen how the efforts of these countries are driving payments modernisation conversations around the world.

Part 2 of 3: Driving Economic Development: The Role of Payments Modernisation and Financial Inclusion


A modernised payments system is an important component in driving economic growth. Africa's economies are all developing and are very much dominated by cash transactions. The problem with this is that an over-reliance on cash significantly slows down trade and hinders business in today's digital world.

Why a modernised payments system for Africa?

Organisations such as the World Bank have drawn comparisons to developed economies and their relative rate of financial inclusion. Through this exercise it has become clear that payments system design plays a significant role in promoting financial inclusion.

Creating digital payments infrastructure – the global and cross-border cases

Many of the countries currently implementing payments modernisation projects are using open application programming interfaces (API) to provide open access to the payments infrastructure. For example, in the UK the regulators made calls for greater transparency to allow consumers to compare prices. This has since evolved into a much larger open data project.

Part 1: Creating digital payments infrastructure for the informal economy

The role of payments infrastructure is to contribute to a greater economic ecosystem. In South Africa this means, among other things, how to include the unbanked.   As it stands South Africa is still very much a cash-oriented society with over 80% of all transactions being concluded using cash. 

The path to the digital economy

A common mistake payments professionals make is to think about the payments system as a complete network in itself, operating by its own rules.  On this view, improving the payments system is about making it perform better, handle more volume, have less risk, and so on. Sounds good, right?