A leading payments industry news source for more than 17 years. Glenbrook curates the news and keeps you abreast of the important daily headlines in payments.

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June 5, 2024

On the web

March 13, 2024

On the web

February 7, 2024

On the web

Paystack Expands “Pay With Apple Pay” to Cote D’Ivoire and South Africa

Techpoint Africa

"Paystack has introduced the “Pay With Apple Pay” payment option in Cote D’Ivoire and South Africa, allowing users to make payments in iOS apps and on the web via Safari. With this development, merchants in five African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, and Kenya) can now accept payments from users in the US, UK, Canada, and some other African countries that support Apple Pay."

August 15, 2023

On the web

July 7, 2023

On the web

More Than 3 Million Customers are Now Using the M-PESA Super App


"Safaricom’s M-PESA super app has surpassed three million users up from 1.2 million in April 2023. Safaricom revealed this on Thursday while announcing two new additional services two the app. According to Safaricom’s latest financial year to April 2023, the Super App processed 489 million transactions with a value of KSh. 1.3 trillion."

May 8, 2023

On the web

Visa, Mastercard Roll Out Secure, Seamless Payment System for South Africa

Biometric Update

"Hassles involved in online merchant payments in South Africa, usually from step-up challenge, will soon be reduced as two payment card providers Visa and Mastercard are rolling out new authentication frameworks. According to Business Tech, Visa unveiled its Digital Authentication Farmwork (DAF) mid last month, while Mastercard plans to roll out its Token Authentication Framework (TAK) sometime next year."

November 1, 2022

On the wires

Grocery Retailer Pick n Pay to Start Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments (South Africa)

“One of South Africa’s largest grocery retailers Pick n Pay is expanding a pilot of adding cryptocurrency as a payment option to more stores after the successful completion of the first phase, it said on Tuesday. The announcement came weeks after the Financial Sector Conduct Authority formally declared crypto assets as a financial product in South Africa, enabling them to be regulated and clearing the way for cryptocurrency to be a mainstream method of payment…The retailer ran the first phase of the pilot in 10 Western Cape province stores over the past five months with pre-selected testers. It has now extended it to a further 29 stores for testing with customers, with the intention to roll it out to all stores in the coming months, Pick n Pay said.”

October 31, 2022

On the web

South African Banks to Get Instant Transfers


“South Africa’s Rapid Payments Programme, an industry-wide initiative to enable instant funds transfers between banks, is about to deliver its first service. Called PayShap, it is the country’s first real-time interbank digital payments service for low value payments. It will be initially be offered in 2023 by four banks: Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank. The roll-out will then extend to more banks, which will start offering the service in the months to follow. PayShap is regarded a major milestone for the payment industry, aimed at addressing the key goals recognised by the South African Reserve Bank’s Vision 2025 for financial inclusion, a reduced dependency on cash, and the development of a modern, integrated platform for digital payments.”

October 20, 2022

On the web

South Africa Moves to Regulate Crypto Assets


“South Africa’s financial watchdog has classified cryptocurrency assets as financial products, a notice in the government gazette said on Wednesday, enabling them to be regulated. In the brief notice, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) said a crypto asset, which it referred to as “a digital representation of value”, must be regulated in South Africa from the date of publication. Regulations that the authorities have said they planned to introduce include applying foreign exchange controls and licensing crypto trading companies.”

August 2, 2022

On the web

These Free Mobile Apps Transform Phones into Point-of-Sale Terminals – With Some Limitations

Business Insider

“South Africa has recently seen a flood of affordable point-of-sale machines targeting small businesses. The most popular are budget wireless devices imported from abroad that allow businesses to accept credit and debit cards.  But it’s now possible to accept card payments without a card reading device, using what the industry calls Software Point of Sale, or SoftPOS. Simply by downloading free fintech apps on a compatible smartphone, merchants can accept tap-to-pay card transactions.   A handful of free mobile apps in South Africa allow this functionality, and at least two leading banks are buying into this technology as part of their merchant offerings.”

Why FNB Charges an Extra Fee for Netflix, Spotify, and Google Subscriptions

My Broadband

“FNB has started charging an “international payment fee” for using one of its cards to pay for popular online services like Netflix, Spotify, Steam, and YouTube Premium. Several FNB customers have complained about the fee appearing on their account statements from July, after FNB’s price changes for the 2022/2023 period came into effect. While the bank’s latest pricing guide mentioned a 2% charge on international payments, it specifically stated this was for currency conversion. However, the payments the customers had made were all rand-denominated.”

August 5, 2021

On the web

THOMAS PAYS: Payment System Set to Draw in SA’s Underbanked


“A major change is coming to SA’s banking and payments sector. Known as the Rapid Payment Programme (RPP), this evolutionary banking concept aims to create a simpler, safer instant payment ecosystem that would give people the ability to make real-time payments using simple identifiers such as mobile numbers or e-mail addresses. Led by BankservAfrica in collaboration with the Payments Association of SA (Pasa), RPP is the first of its kind in the country — unifying the entire banking sector under the common goal of broadening and modernising the industry to include those who had historically relied on cash as their primary payment method…”

May 11, 2021

On the web

SA banks are ‘forced’ to charge more for instant payments – but their prices vary wildly


“South African banks say they have little choice but to charge extra for processing immediate electronic payments between clients of different banks. In a single year, banks process more than 49 million of these premium-rate transactions – but quite how much banks believe this extra computing power and risk should cost clients differs greatly. At the extremes, the difference between the cheapest and most expensive fees for these transactions is as much as R42.50, a difference of 147%.  There are currently just two prominent types of online interbank payment systems in South Africa – traditional electronic fund transfers or EFTs, which can take money up to two business days to reflect in another bank account, and so-called immediate, or real-time clearing (RTC), payments, which transfer funds into any bank account within 60 seconds.”

May 7, 2021

On the web

Paystack Expands to South Africa Seven Months After Stripe Acquisition


“Nigerian fintech startup Paystack has been relatively quiet since it was bought by fintech giant Stripe last October. The deal, worth more than $200 million, caused shockwaves to the African tech ecosystem and offered some form of validation to work done by founders, startups and investors alike. Today, the payments company, which powers businesses with its payment API and is actively present in Nigeria and Ghana, is announcing its official launch in South Africa.”

April 7, 2021

On the web

Apple Pay Goes Live in South Africa


“Apple Pay has rolled out in South Africa with support for Visa cards issued by Absa and Discovery Bank and for Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards issued by Nedbank . Apple Pay has now added the three South African banks to the list of banks and payment cards it supports , and “by midday on Tuesday South Africans were reporting success in buying coffee and fried chicken by using their iPhones, or Apple Watches, instead of a payment card, as Apple Pay quietly went live,” according to Business Insider South Africa .”

March 3, 2021

On the web

BankservAfrica Selects TCS BaNCS™ to Drive South Africa’s Rapid Payments Program

Payments Afrika

“Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been appointed as the technology provider for South Africa’s payments platform build for the Rapid Payments Programme (RPP). By joining forces with TCS, BankservAfrica will evolve payments for the hyperconnected digital economy in South Africa and beyond…RPP meets the requirements of the Payments Association of South Africa’s (PASA) vision for the national payments system of the future. BankservAfrica embarked on a journey to introduce the next generation payments system for the growing payments ecosystem of banks and non-banks.”

February 26, 2021

On the web

Stitch Emerges From Stealth With $4M for Its API Fintech Play in Africa


“Stitch wants to provide full API access to financial accounts across Africa starting from its first market, South Africa. With its API, developers can connect apps to financial accounts. This allows users to share their transaction history and balances, confirm their identities and initiate payments. We’ve seen a wave of API-led financial services companies proliferating around the globe. Plaid leads the way in the U.S. Sweden-based fintech Tink has also been dominant across Europe, while Truelayer and Belvo are holding the fort in the U.K. and Latin America.”

February 23, 2021

On the web

South African Digital Bank TymeBank Lands $109M From UK and Philippines Investors


“The onset of the pandemic has led to increased demand across customer income groups around the world for digital banking options. We’ve seen how digital banks like Zolve and Nubank have raised money in recent months to fill this need. This time, a startup from Africa has joined the party. TymeBank , a South African digital bank, announced today that it has secured an R1.6 billion (~$109 million) investment from new investors in the UK and Philippines.”

December 1, 2020

On the web

Discovery Bank introduces virtual card, contactless payment


“Discovery Bank has become the latest financial institution to introduce a virtual bank card to offer clients additional levels of safety and convenience when transacting. The bank’s latest offering comes on the back of increasing demand for online and contactless payments in recent months, with many people opting out of making cash payments or using touch point-of-sale machines, amid fears of the spread of COVID-19.”

September 30, 2020

On the web

June 30, 2020

On the web

South Africa’s MTN Allows Customers to Pay for Online Shopping Using Mobile Money


“South Africa’s MTN is branching into the online shopping space by providing its customers with the option to pay for online purchases using mobile money payment instead of a bank card. The spread of COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of mobile financial services, which are increasingly being recognised as a means to mitigate the use of bank notes and coins amid the pandemic. With demand for e-commerce growing rapidly in South Africa, MTN will launch mobile money (MoMo) Pay for online shopping this week, it said in a statement on Monday.”

May 29, 2020

On the wires

South Africa’s Mama Money Expands Global Reach With Western Union – Customers Can Now Send International Money Transfers To 200 Countries And Territories Via The Mama Money Mobile App

Western Union, a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, and Mama Money, a rapidly growing international money transfer company, have joined forces to enable Mama Money customers to send money to their loved ones around the world via Western Union’s Global Network. This collaboration will gear Mama Money’s more than 500,000 customers in South Africa to send money from their smartphones for payout into billions of bank accounts in over 100 countries around the world or in cash at Western Union Agent locations across more than 200 countries and territories.”

October 3, 2018

On the wires

Mastercard and EasyPay take the friction out of bill payments

“South Africans can now buy prepaid utility services or pay their accounts from approximately 600 bill issuers with the new EasyPay Mobile app using Masterpass, the global digital payment service from Mastercard. Announced today at the Mastercard Connecting Tomorrow Forum in Barcelona, this collaboration marks a significant milestone in Mastercard’s strategy to displace cash and reduce friction in consumer payments.”

August 2, 2018

On the web

August 1, 2018

On the wires

Mastercard And Entersekt Enable All-In-One, Scan-To-Pay Feature In Nedbank App


“Mastercard and Entersekt have collaborated to enable Nedbank’s customers to make QR payments to Masterpass, Pay@, SnapScan, and Zapper merchants and billers through the Nedbank Money app, whether they are paying online or at a physical point of presence. This market-first development means that Nedbank Money users need just one smartphone app for all major domestic scan-to-pay services, representing a combined footprint of more than 100,000 retail points of presence and 800 billers.”

May 8, 2018

On the web

Biometric ATMs extend banking services

IT Online

“FNB has launched a mini-ATM that uses biometrics as a means of consumer validation, a move the bank believes is a first for South Africa. The TouchPoint device functions as a self-service kiosk from which customers can conduct transactional banking such as withdrawals, transfers and payments, view statements, purchase airtime and electricity and perform card cancellations. It can also be usesd to open new accounts.”

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