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Digital Financial Services

The positive impact of digital financial services on the poor is well documented globally. These services provide efficient, cost effective and more accessible solutions to accessing formal financial services. Evidence indicates that only 27% of SADC citizens access digital financial services.

Efficient Digital Payment Systems: Our work is supported by robust demand side analysis and focuses on ‘increasing active use of formal financial services” for those un and/or underserved. Policy and regulatory reviews are supported with analysis of blockages that could be changed, without impacting the integrity of the payments or financial services systems. Other support involves the development of new guidelines for alternative solutions and technical assistance eg. the Mobile Money Guidelines that FMT developed for the SADC Committee of Central Bank Governors Payments sub-Committee. FMT supports regulators in the region to ensure that Financial Inclusion is considered in the creation of policy and regulation.

Cross Border Remittances: SADC is a region with a history of migration. Whether for economic or other reasons, migrants need to send funds to loved ones in the country of origin. Over 10 years ago, FMT commenced on the journey of understanding cross border remittances, their value, volumes and pricing in support of migrant needs.

As South Africa is a net sender of Cross Border Remittances into the region the studies and interventions have been mainly on the South Africa to SADC corridors. Interventions have resulted in the creation of new Authorised Dealers with Limited Authority (ADLA or Money Transfer Operators) categories, and the development of a Framework for Low Value Cross Border Transactions and Bank Accounts under the Rules Based KYC regime.

Credit and Savings: The credit and savings markets rely heavily on efficient digital payments. Once established, a wide variety of other key infrastructure, such as credit bureaus, need development. FinMark Trust continues to support the development of credit markets by supporting the development of such backend infrastructure.

Within the SADC Mobile Money Guidelines, provision is made to support the payment of interest on Mobile Money Wallets. This supports a savings agenda and we continue to provide technical assistance to regulators and FSP’s to support the implementation of this.

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