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South Africa’s BankservAfrica plans payments platform for SADC countries

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Wednesday, 14 April 2021 10:41

The buildings with the logos of three of South Africa's biggest banks, ABSA, Standard Bank and First National Bank (FNB) in Cape Town, South Africa, REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

South African clearing house BankservAfrica is preparing to launch a regional platform to accelerate payments in Southern Africa, CEO Jan Pilbauer tells The Africa Report.

The platform, which will allow payments to and from bank accounts and mobile-money wallets, has been under preparation for over a year, Pilbauer says from Johannesburg. It will go live in a month, with a first group of participants including ZB Bank in Zimbabwe, Virtual Technology Services in Namibia and Selcom Paytech in Tanzania. Initial payments will be in rand and US dollars.

“Seamless payment systems can contribute to economic recovery,” once the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is over, Pilbauer says. “You can’t do it only on a domestic level.”