PayShap transactions push through 30-million mark

BankservAfrica says the number of transactions processed on its PayShap digital payments platform has leapt to a huge 30-million since its launch in March 2023, a sign of demand for faster payments in SA. 

This is up from 250,000 transactions a year ago in May 2023. 

On Thursday, BankservAfrica, the company responsible for clearing payments between SA’s largest banks, said the value of transaction made on the platform now stands at R19.5bn since its launch “revealing the power of real-time payments in SA’s ongoing payments modernisation journey”.

Earlier in the year the company reported that the PayShap operation saw over 14-million transactions, with a settlement value in excess of R9bn from March 13 2023 to February 29 2024. This indicates a huge jump in the number and value of transaction in the months since.

BankservAfrica is the largest automated payments clearing house in Africa and processes bank card, ATM and EFT transactions between the country’s banks as part the SA National Payments System. The company has been working for years to implement a system that would make it simple for people to send and receive money across banks national payments system This is part of a wider plan called the rapid payments programme, which includes cross-border payments. 

Together with the Payments Association of SA, BankservAfrica launched PayShap, which offers consumers cheap access to instant payments across participating banks using cellphone numbers. 

According to BankservAfrica, the gradual migration of transactions from legacy payment platforms to PayShap by some participating banks has contributed to the rising transaction numbers.

The clearing house sees this transition as part of the industry’s payments modernisation strategy, leading to a lower cost system for real-time payments that will potentially bring more of the unbanked and underbanked into the financial system.

“We are thrilled to report on the exceptional growth for this service stemming from the industry-led rapid payments programme, which supports ongoing efforts to modernise the national payment system and deepen digital financial inclusion,” BankservAfrica CEO Stephen Linnell said. 

“As part of our market drive for PayShap, we will continue to focus our efforts on broadening adoption, especially as we prepare to introduce the request-to-pay feature later this year for small business owners and merchants.”

In May 2023, the number of PayShap transactions stood at a quarter million, with four participating banks: Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank. This has since grown, with Capitec, Investec, Discovery Bank, Sasfin, TymeBank and African Bank joining the platform, bringing the total number to 10 active participants. More banks are expected to be onboarded soon.

In April, in partnership with Investec and Electrum, MTN SA became the first nonbanking company to join PayShap through its MoMo mobile money unit.

The consumer uptake of the service continues to strengthen, as shown by the number of registered accounts increasing to over 6-million since launch.

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