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South Africa’s BankservAfrica plans payments platform for SADC countries

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on April 14, 2021 08:41

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.”

The platform, called Transactions Cleared on an Immediate Basis (TCIB), has support from the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of greater intra-African trade will need regulatory changes, Pilbauer says. The 16 countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) “will have to improve regulatory

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