Reserve Bank to open up payment sector

SA Reserve Bank deputy governor Francois Groepe.
SA Reserve Bank deputy governor Francois Groepe.

The new National Payment System (NPS) Framework and Strategy Vision 2025 would level the playing field and open up the payments industry for more competition, said the deputy governor of the SA Reserve Bank, Francois Groepe, during the launch of the initiative earlier this week in Pretoria.

Speaking to City Press, Groepe said the move was significant because it accommodated innovation in financial technology without tampering with legislation, but was conducive for competition.

“Because there is a lot of innovation in the areas of financial technology, it is important that we look at the rules that encourage competition and innovation without introducing additional risk or detracting from the effectiveness and efficiency of the NPS,” Groepe said.

The launch of the NPS comes amid rapid developments in the payment system, and innovations such as mobile and internet payments.

He said the Reserve Bank played an important role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of the NPS.

The payment settlement infrastructure owned and operated by the Reserve Bank also played a key role in the day-to-day functioning of the NPS, Groepe said.

Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago wrote in the NPS document that “a well-founded legal and regulatory framework reduces counterparty risks by addressing payment system risks such as settlement, and operational and liquidity risks. Ultimately, this framework is important for reducing potential contagion risks and thus ensuring a sound financial system.” 

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