Four major banks in South Africa are teaming up to deliver a new payments service that is tailored for the needs of the unbanked.

First brought into existence by BankservAfrica, the Rapid Payments Programme, also known as PayShap, will be initially offered by the banks Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank, starting in early 2023. 

PayShap will look to introduce real-time digital transactions and lower transaction fees to try and boost convenience for the users. 

Mpho Sadiki, Head of Real-Time Payments at BankservAfrica, commented: “Making a low value (under R3000) payment to an account at any other bank should be quick, easy and affordable.

“While most banked South Africans will enjoy the convenience of this service, we believe it is the underbanked, cash dominant market that will benefit the most.” 

Access to the programme will be available through a user’s selected banking channel. 

PayShap will also be launched in two stages, according to Sadiki. In the first one, an instant clearing feature will be released for payments through account details or unique identification such as a mobile phone number. 

The second stage will see users being given the option to request and receive funds in their bank account instantaneously, otherwise known as the ‘request-to-pay’ functionality.