SASSA MasterCard Debit Card boosts numbers banking in SA
The FinMark Trust FinScope South Africa 2013consumer survey shows that South Africa’s banked population has grown substantially from 23.9 million people in 2012 to 27.4 million people in 2013, signifying strong growth in financial inclusion.
The survey measures and profiles levels of access to financial services among South Africans aged 16 and older, and highlighted that 75 percent of South Africans are now banked.
Dr Prega Ramsamy, Chief Executive Officer of FinMark Trust, explained that the overall increase in the banked population has been driven by two key factors: 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.
Philip Panaino, Division President, MasterCard, South Africa, said: “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.”
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.
As part of the SASSA re-registration process, each recipient has a bank account opened for them, which is offered free of monthly charges by Grindrod Bank. Recipients can deposit funds into their bank account via electronic funds transfer (EFT) or third party bank transfer.
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.
Ramsamy said: “The strides taken to reach the under and unbanked population to increase financial inclusion by both government and the financial services sector have had a substantial impact in 2013, reaching eight percent more South Africans than in 2012, and exceeding the 2013 target of 70 percent set by government.
“This places South Africa in a strong position to meet its 2030 target. However, access should be accompanied by financial education.”
The survey also revealed that 65 percent 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 realising the benefits of a cashless society,” said 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.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.