Ghita Erling, CEO of the Payments Association of South Africa, on RPP and crypto innovations.

The Fintech Revolution: South Africa's Burgeoning Payments Landscape

In this podcast episode, we sit down with Ghita Erling, CEO of the Payments Association of South Africa. PASA is the payment system management body recognised by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), in terms of the National Payment System Act of 1998, to organise, manage and regulate the participation of its members in the payment system.

South Africa’s Payments Association, led by Gita Erling, is undergoing a significant transformation with the launch of the Payments Industry Body (PIB). PIB will replace the current organization and create a more inclusive entity for the evolving payments industry. The Payments Association manages the activities of its members in the national payment system, ensuring safe and secure money transfers. Additionally, the introduction of the Rapid Payments Program (RPP) will enable real-time payments, offering low-cost, account-to-account transactions. The future of cryptocurrency payments, such as Bitcoin, remains uncertain, with challenges around volatility and regulatory concerns.

  • Evolution of RPP: RPP is a new real-time payment system that allows users to make low-cost, low-value account-to-account payments using proxies, such as cell phone numbers. It aims to modernize and replace older payment systems in South Africa.
  • Interoperability and Financial Inclusion: RPP focuses on interoperability, allowing payments to be made across different banks and financial institutions. It aims to promote financial inclusion by providing digital alternatives to cash transactions, especially for those who have limited access to traditional banking.
  • Integration with Third Parties: While currently, direct integration with RPP is primarily offered through corporate banks, changes in regulations may enable third parties, including fintechs and payment service providers, to connect directly to the RPP platform in the future.
  • Expansion into Merchant Payments: The initial functionality of RPP focuses on peer-to-peer payments, but it has the potential to expand into merchant payments and request-to-pay functionality. The exact implementation may vary depending on individual banks.
  • Impact on Payments Industry: RPP may disrupt the payments industry, particularly services like instant EFT and screen scraping. With RPP enabling direct fund transfers, payments companies may need to adapt their offerings to remain competitive in an evolving landscape.
  • Legislative Changes: Legislative changes are anticipated, especially regarding screen scraping as a means of data collection. These changes may influence the data-gathering practices of payments companies.
  • Future Evolution: The guest suggests that the future of payments may involve a shift toward more online, card-not-present transactions and greater omnichannel capabilities as the industry adapts to the introduction of RPP.

Ghita Earling’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ghita-erling-39576b9/

PASA’s website: https://www.pasa.org.za/

Darren Franks’ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darrenfranks/

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