This survey concluded that the level of access to financial service in the South African population (at the age of 16 and older), has covered 75 percent.
Dr Prega Ramsamy, CEO of FinMark Trust, said that the major reasons behind the increase in the banked population is; the roll out of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) MasterCard Debit cards, which contributed 1.9 million people to the banked population in 2013, and organic banking growth.
“The success of the SASSA Debit MasterCard card roll out is having a significant impact on the South African payments system, on socio-economic development and most importantly on the cardholders who can now manage their finances in a much more dignified, convenient and safe way,” says Philip Panaino, Division President, MasterCard, South Africa.
Since March 2012 ,10 million SASSA Debit MasterCard cards have been issued to grant recipients, following the introduction of a new grant disbursement system introduced by SASSA to minimise fraudulent grant applications and collections and reduce grant administration costs by distributing all grant payments electronically.
In its National Development Plan, the South African Government challenged the financial sector to achieve financial inclusion of 70 percent in the country by 2013, with a target of 90 percent set for 2030.
The survey also revealed that 65% of banked adults surveyed said that they prefer using bank cards instead of cash to make their purchases.
“It is clear that electronic payments are being embraced by millions of South Africans who are now realizing the benefits of a cashless society,” says Panaino. “It is our goal to continue to grow financial inclusion both in South Africa and abroad by introducing innovative payment solutions that will help make transacting quicker, safer and more convenient for everyone, everywhere and whenever needed.”