The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) released its Vision 2025 document in 2018, outlining the SARB’s strategic plan for the next seven years. This vision is an important milestone for the country, as it sets out the direction and goals for the SARB as it navigates the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing economic landscape.
As the leading provider of digital payment solutions in South Africa, Ozow has aligned itself with the SARB's vision, and its impact on the financial sector. We wanted to explore the key themes and priorities of the SARB's Vision 2025, and what it means for the future of payments in South Africa.
One of the key themes of SARB's Vision 2025 is the need for digital transformation in the financial sector. This includes the adoption of new technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, as well as the development of new digital payment solutions.
Digital transformation is seen as a critical factor in ensuring that the financial sector remains competitive and relevant in the years ahead. It will enable financial institutions to offer new and innovative products and services, as well as improving efficiency and reducing costs.
We’ve always been a strong proponent of digital transformation within the sector. A digital payment solution designed to provide a fast, convenient, and secure way for consumers and businesses to make and receive payments online, directly addresses this plan. We believe that the SARB's focus will help to drive the adoption of digital payments in South Africa, which will benefit businesses and consumers alike.
The promotion of financial inclusion is another key priority of the SARB's Vision 2025. This entails ensuring that all South Africans have access to affordable financial services, regardless of their income level or location.
Financial inclusion is a critical issue in South Africa, where many people still do not have access to basic financial services such as bank accounts or credit. This is a crucial limiter on their ability to participate fully in the economy perpetuating poverty and inequality.
The SARB's Vision 2025 includes a number of initiatives aimed at promoting financial inclusion. These include the development of new payment infrastructure to support low-cost digital payments, as well as initiatives to promote financial literacy and consumer protection.
The financial sector is highly regulated, and regulatory compliance is a critical factor in maintaining the stability and integrity of the financial system. However, regulation can also be a barrier to innovation, stifling the development of new products and services.
Vision 2025 recognizes the need for regulatory innovation, which means finding new and more effective ways to regulate the financial sector while also promoting innovation and competition. The introduction of PayShap is aimed directly at addressing this.
Garry Stone, Head of Regulatory and Banking at Ozow said: “In SA, EFTs are running up to R130 million a month, and real-time clearing possibly R20 million. And 80% of these transactions were R3000 and below. This is a significant portion of transactions that can be addressed by fintechs and PayShap.”
Regulatory innovation is essential for promoting innovation and competition in the financial sector. Systems designed to comply with all relevant regulations, while still offering a fast, convenient, and secure way for businesses and consumers to make and receive payments online are essential.
Finally, SARB's Vision 2025 recognizes the importance of collaboration and partnership in achieving its goals.
The SARB recognizes that it cannot achieve its vision alone, and that it needs to work closely with other stakeholders in the financial sector, as well as with other government agencies and civil society organizations.
At Ozow, we’re big advocates of collaboration and partnership in driving positive change in the financial sector. We fully support the SARB's Vision 2025 and its goals for a more inclusive and innovative financial landscape.
Through strategic partnerships, we foster innovation, share expertise, and develop cutting-edge solutions to tackle complex challenges. Our digital payment solutions are designed to promote financial inclusion, spur innovation, and support sustainable development in South Africa. Our solutions are accessible and affordable for everyone, regardless of their financial situation. We believe that by promoting digital payments, we can help to increase financial inclusion and empower people to participate fully in the economy.
As the financial sector evolves, we believe in working closely with regulators, partners, and stakeholders to ensure its relevance, innovation, and responsiveness to the needs of businesses and consumers. 'Together, we are creating a more inclusive payments landscape enabling all South Africans to participate in the digital economy.