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SA banks launch PayShap for instant payments

The long-promised rapid payment system for interbank payments in South Africa has finally arrived.

This week, a new era in payments between banks arrived in South Africa with the launch of the PayShap rapid payment system by BankservAfrica and the banking community.

According to the service’s website, “PayShap addresses key goals recognised by the South African Reserve Bank and the Payments Association of South Africa, including financial inclusion, a reduced dependency on cash and the development of an integrated platform for high-volume, low-value digital payments.”

Billed as “South Africa’s first low value, interbank, real-time digital payments service”, it was made available at four participating banks: Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank. More banks expected to go live in the coming months.

Mpho Sadiki, head of real-time payments at BankservAfrica, said it had been “widely anticipated in the market and global payments community since its journey kicked off in 2017”.

Ravi Shunmugam, CEO of FNB EFT product house, says: “PayShap will help FNB customers transition from cash to digital and is the first of many customer solutions for real-time payments and the transformation of the payments infrastructure, aligning to our payments modernisation and digital platform strategy.”

With no waiting periods, South African bank account holders can now easily pay and receive up to R3000 per transaction instantly, between participating banks, without sharing bank account details. 

Sadiki says: “While the focus at launch is on person-to-person payments, every South African, including small business owners and merchants to commercial businesses, stand to benefit from this service which becomes a viable alternative to cash – from reimbursing friends or family, to paying for items on community marketplaces, hair salons, paying for home maintenance services, car washes, restaurants and transportation.”

PayShap is not a standalone app and is accessed through existing banking channels only. 

“At launch, PayShap will be automatically accessible through bank channels such as mobile banking and internet banking. We anticipate that in the future, banks will innovate and opt to enable additional digital access channels.”

PayShap will be released to the market in two stages. 

The first leg will see the launch of the PayShap instant clearing feature that gives the option to pay-by-account, using account details, or pay-by-proxy, using a unique identifier such as a cellphone number. 

The second leg will introduce an additional request-to-pay function which will make it possible for a person to initiate a request for payment and receive money securely and immediately in their bank account.

Nedbank has launched PayShap with a pricing strategy it says is designed to drive widespread adoption. The service will be free until 30 April, and thereafter will be available for a nominal fee of R1.

Dayalan Govender, Nedbank managing executive for solution innovation, says: “We are pricing PayShap aggressively because we strongly believe that it is an innovation with enormous potential to help more South Africans join the digital economy. By enabling individuals and small businesses to make instant payments cost-effectively using their mobile phones, PayShap offers the security of digital transacting with the immediacy of cash.”

* For more information, visit the PayShap website at

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