“South Africa’s Cards and Payments Industry: Emerging Opportunities, Trends, Size, Drivers, Strategies, Products and Competitive Landscape “

Date: 2015-09

The South African card payments channel registered growth during the review period (2009–2013). The number of cards in circulation recorded a review-period CAGR of 17.60%. The country’s positive economic outlook, the demand for more sophisticated prepaid and charge card products and the growth of online shopping supported the growth of the card payments channel. Over the forecast period (2014−2018), the channel is expected to increase at a CAGR of 7.60%, as consumers move away from cash payments. During the review period, the South African card payments channel grew in both volume and value terms. In terms of the volume of cards in circulation, debit cards accounted for the largest channel share of 58.0% in 2013, followed by prepaid cards with 26.0%. The main contributor to the growth of prepaid cards was a rise in demand for open-loop prepaid cards among the unbanked population. Technological developments were a key factor in the growth of the card payments channel in South Africa during the review period. Mini automatic teller machines (ATMs) were introduced by First National Bank, while mobile ATMs and wireless point of sale (POS) terminals were introduced by other national and foreign banks. With the increasing adoption of smartphones, handset manufacturers are promoting near-field communication (NFC) technology. However, retailers and banks in South Africa require clearly defined security benefits and cost-reductions before they will adopt NFC on a large scale.


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