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New digital payment trends are ushering in the dawn of a cashless future – and a more inclusive financial landscape – The Maravi Post

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South African e-commerce saw unprecedented advancement last year, outpacing all estimates with a growth spurt of 66%, according to a study by tech research giant World Wide Worx. And, with that, payment technology grew in leaps and bounds, says Andrew Springate, CEO of tech and financial gateway service provider PAYM8. “South Africans resisted digital payments in the past because the existing system was so well-entrenched – familiarity, after all, breeds trust. But the pandemic meant more people stayed home and avoided physical retail spaces. Necessity prevailed and they embraced e-commerce, becoming more comfortable with digital payments and financial services.”

And things will never be the same again. “The acceptance of digital transactions will be a permanent shift after the pandemic – it’s safer, contactless and more convenient. We’ve seen mainstream institutions and traditional banks accelerating their digital offering, and the race is on to push forward with innovation.”

Payment trends to come

While cash is still the preferred payment method for the majority of South Africans, digital payments are booming, says Springate. “With the increase in online sales, we’re seeing greater uptake of mobile, QR and contactless payments as well as pre-authorised debit order payments (known as DebiCheck, where debit orders must be authorised by the debtor before processing). We’re inching our way towards a cashless economy – PwC’s Payments 2025 & Beyond report, published this year, says global cashless payment volumes are set to almost double from 2020 to 2025, and triple by 2030.”

The use of social media as a carrier for mobile payment transactions will be especially popular in South Africa, where WhatsApp dominates as the most popular app with 23 million users, according to the latest Statista estimates.

Next year will also likely see the launch of South Africa’s Rapid Payment Programme (RPP), which will allow people to make real-time bank account-to-account payments using an identifier like a cell phone number or email address, without having to wait for the funds to clear.

“Though the pandemic accelerated the digital shift, other reasons will give it staying power in the local landscape. Digital’s contactless nature allows for faster payments and reduced queues – with zero pin exposure or cash-related security risk at checkout. QR code accuracy is also vastly improving.

“When it comes to DebiCheck, consumers were in near-uproar that banks, the custodians of their money, weren’t participating in securing debit orders when abuse of the EFT ecosystem has been such a significant concern in South Africa. DebiCheck preauthorisation will soon be the norm.

“Lastly, but by no means least significant, the ability of messaging platforms like WhatsApp to offer in-app purchasing is making the buying process seamless, with customers no longer requiring a re-direct to a web site to complete a payment,” explains Springate.

Towards an inclusive future

Fintech companies are setting the trends in the race to the digital, cashless future. “Non-bank payment providers are often able to adapt faster to specific customer needs rather than trying to be everything to everyone as banks tend to do,” says Springate. PAYM8, for example, is leading the race in DebiCheck implementation, Enhanced Debit Orders (EnDO), and WhatsApp payments. “DebiCheck will completely replace EDO (AEDO & NAEDO) from 1 November 2021, causing a significant change in the payments collections industry.”

Still, there will likely be some challenges along the way, he adds. “There will be early adopter challenges, while trust in new payment channels is not a given and has to be earned. None of these new solutions will be without regulatory involvement either, with the majority driven by the South African Reserve Bank and Payments Industry Management Body.”

Of course, regulation is essential, and will drive vaster change among South Africa’s diverse population and rural/urban landscape. “Including the unbanked or underbanked and increasing competition amongst financial services providers will be critical to the economic growth the country needs. This financial inclusion will be driven by mobile devices and access to affordable, convenient payment mechanisms, according to the PwC report, with mobile leading the way in the cashless transformation.

“Though any change comes with its challenges, the drive towards a cashless future will form part of the road to inclusivity – and a more equal country.”

www.paym8.co.za

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New army chief in Burkina Faso promises new strategy against terrorism – The Maravi Post

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The new army chief in Burkina Faso promised a new strategy in the fight against terrorism.

Gilbert Ouédraogo, took office on Tuesday as the new Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces promising a new approach to deal with extremist violence in the country.

“Terrorism in its entirety has plunged our country into a so-called asymmetric war since 2015. It is an irregular war, an unconventional war for which the national armed forces were not sufficiently prepared”, said Gilbert Ouédraogo, the new Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces.

Gilbert Ouédraogo was appointed on the 6th of October replacing general Miningou who spent less than three months as head of the army.

The minister of defense reaffirmed his support for the new approach.

“We expect the new Chief of General Staff to re-mobilize the troops, to reorganize all the forces in order to launch them in a much more efficient way in the fight against this threat which is evolving and for which we have to adapt constantly”, announced Aime Barthelemy Simpore , Minister Delegate for National Defense to the President of Burkina Faso.

Since 2015 that extremist attacks have become more frequent in Burkina Faso.

The attacks are attributed to terrorist groups affiliated to Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

Source: Africanews

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Malawi’s Zomba Central Prison operating without water – The Maravi Post

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BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Zomba Central Prison risk inmates contracting waterborne diseases as they have spent more than three days without water.

Inside sources confirmed there is no sanitation at the facility which is putting the prisoners at risk of contracting cholera and typhoid.

However, Chimwemwe Shaba, spokesperson of Malawi Prison Service has confirmed that there are water problems at the facility.

Shaba has said that the situation is due to technical problems in payment of the water.

But Shaba has said that the problem will be rectified by today.

Besides,Shaba said the inmates are drawing water from houses belonging to officers at the prison.

Victor Mhango , executive director of Chreaa , one of the organizations that advocate for rights of prisoners has confirmed that the organization has received reports that the inmates have stayed for four days without clean water because the water was disconnected due to bills.

Mhango said this is sad because the inmates depend on water for bathing, for toilets and cleaning.

He sympathizes with the prison department because it gets low funding in the budget.

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NBM plc gives FIMDA MK2 million for lake conference – The Maravi Post

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Munthali (left) and Kamkwamba display the dummy cheque

By Mc Donald Chapalapata, Contributor

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc has given the Financial Market Dealers Association (FIMDA) K2 million for their annual lake conference scheduled for 15-17 October 2021 in Mangochi.

Speaking during the cheque presentation ceremony in Blantyre on Friday, NBM plc Senior Dealer Alinane Munthali said the bank decided to support the conference because it will not only benefit it but more people ‘as we all deal with money’.

“Looking at the list of the participants to this conference, NBM plc feels this is an important event worth supporting because essentially we deal with money as the Bank of the Nation and this conference will also provide us an opportunity to showcase our products and services to this targeted audience,” said Munthali.

The conference will bring together Forex Market Dealers, Money Market Dealers, Pension Fund Managers Dealers, Capital Markets Dealers and will also draw participation from banks, non-bank institutions, organizational decision makers and other members of the public with interest in the Financial Markets.   

“NBM plc will be eagerly following proceedings from this conference because we know that the resolutions and suggestions that will be presented at the conference will not only benefit the bank but the general population of the country because, essentially, everyone deals with money in this country. So, this conference is very important on both fronts,” said Munthali.

FIMDA Treasurer Eric Kamkwamba thanked NBM plc for the support for the lake conference whose theme is ‘Fostering a resilient financial system and economy: The role of market participants’.

“We are grateful for this assistance, it will go a long way to help us in making this conference a success,” said Kamkwamba.

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