South Africa, like many African countries, has varying requirements for payment systems and payment instruments. In urban areas, sophisticated first-world electronic facilities and instruments are demanded, while in remote rural areas, the predominant requirement is cash-based. This is reflected in the physical payment system infrastructure implemented
throughout the country.
Over the past few decades, the South African national payment system (NPS) has developed steadily. In 1998, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) introduced a more sophisticated settlement system called South African Multiple Option Settlement (SAMOS). SAMOS, designed for large-value interbank transactions, was developed to bring domestic interbank settlement practices in line with international best practice and signalled the start of a new era for payment practices in South Africa. Read more about the payments system in South Africa here.