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The instant payment scene in South Africa — the complete case study

This document is the final artefact in a major research effort on payment system modernisation sponsored by BankservAfrica and PASA.

Leo Lipis


February 22, 2019

Considerations for modernising South Africa's low value payments infrastructure.

This study is the final artefact in a major research effort on payment system modernisation sponsored by BankservAfrica and PASA. The research is divided into two parts:

• Phase 1A compares the goals, drivers, features, and processes of low value payments infrastructure (LVPI) modernisation across ten countries, including South Africa.
• Phase 1B provides a substantiated view of the future consumer and user demands on South Africa’s LVPI, including anticipated demographic changes and pressures in South Africa, and the impact of these changes on consumer and user needs.

Phases 1A and 1B relied on extensive primary and secondary research in all ten countries in scope, including over 45 interviews with key stakeholders in South Africa. This document takes the international lessons from Phase 1A and the view of the needs of South Africans and synthesises them to help identify best practices and possibilities for the future of payments in South Africa.

Concrete recommendations for the South African market are not in scope. The documentation and detailed results from 1A and 1B are available on request from BankservAfrica or PASA.

International comparison

The international comparison of phase 1A relied on four methodological building blocks:

• Lipis Advisors’ proprietary Global Payment Systems Database
• Approximately 20 executive interviews with payment system operators and rule-makers in 10 countries
• Lipis Advisors, proprietary Payment Systems Scorecard
• Incorporation of elements from the South African context research (Phase 1B)

South Africa: Future state, demands and pressures

The research into the demands, pressures, and future needs of South African payment stakeholders relied on two key elements:
• Primary research included in-depth interviews with 45 industry stakeholders from a range of actors in the payments industry, including banks, system operators, users, and associations. We also commissioned economic scenarios to judge the impact of growth on payments.
• Secondary research included a review of existing literature and public sources, including the World Bank, StatsSA, South African Reserve Bank (SARB), United Nations (UN), and the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Download the full case study to learn more about our findings and process.
Leo is the founder of Lipis Advisors and has over 20 years of experience in payment systems consulting and research on all six continents. Prior to founding Lipis Advisors in 2007, he held positions in payments strategy and analysis at with commercial banks, clearing houses, and central banks. Leo works chiefly in transaction banking, payment system strategy and design, and treasury management.