Broadening financial inclusion has been a social, economic and political priority in South Africa since 1994, but we now recognise that meaningful inclusion goes way beyond ensuring someone simply has a bank account. The promise of digital channels and digital transactions is that they will truly democratise the financial system for the benefit of all. The potential impact of this kind of technologically-enabled transformation has been noticed at the highest level, with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the establishment of the Presidential Commission on 4IR.
As part of the South African modernisation journey, an industry study tour was conducted to countries that would be of interest and relevance to South Africa. BankservAfrica and the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) requested PwC to host the industry study tour to pursue learning from a regulatory level down to transition pathways, infrastructural and technological options selected and understanding how the markets respond to and interact with these new capabilities and products
Twenty-two delegates from across the industry took part in the tour to India, Thailand, China and Singapore. These countries were selected because they have similar payments modernisation goals and have achieved industry transformation. Payments transformation can be a critical lever to catalyse growth, and due to the rate of change in the digital world, a payments journey will continue evolving.