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South Africa rolls out PayShap, a new real-time digital payments service

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced the launch of PayShap, a low-value, real-time rapid payments platform for consumers and businesses designed to boost financial inclusion in the country.

PayShap was born out of the Rapid Payments Programme, led by BankservAfrica and South Africa’s payments industry, as part of SARB’s Vision 2025, which sets out nine goals to improve the country’s payment system.

With PayShap, consumers will have access to instant, real-time payments across participating banks, and will be able to use a payment identifier other than a bank account to facilitate transactions.

Bank customers will be able to use their mobile phone numbers to make payments by logging on to their mobile banking app and registering their phone number under the PayShap icon.

At launch, the payment limit will be set to ZAR 3,000 ($163) per transaction in a bid to reduce reliance on cash for both consumers and small businesses.

The first phase of the rollout will see participation from Absa, First National Bank, Standard Bank and Nedbank, with more banks expected to join in the second phase. The SARB intends to extend the service to non-banks “as soon as it is practically possible”.

PayShap is an ISO 20022-compliant platform and claims to adhere to “global best practices” for instant payments.

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