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South Africa

No Open Banking

With a coastline that stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, South Africa is well prepared for an Open Banking regime.

According to the Global Findex database, 56% of South Africans had access to the Internet in 2021.

South Africa is likely the country in Southern Africa best prepared for an Open Banking regime, considering its higher levels of banked population, the sophisticated suite of products already offered by leading banks, and the eagerness to enable APIs among digital and some retail banks. Currently, it doesn’t feature Open Banking regulations, but according to Accenture, many banks seek to adopt it anyway. The CEOs of FNB and Standard Bank are officially talking about platform banking, while both Nedbank and Absa have made Open Banking-related investments.

According to the Global Findex database, 69% of South African adults had bank accounts in 2021, leaving 31% unbanked.

In 2020, two large South African banks embraced Open Banking at the height of the pandemic. The number of South African banks offering Open Banking services has since grown to six. Meanwhile, South African start-up TrueID announced they had received significant funding to develop Open Banking infrastructure. 

In January 2021, South Africa-based Fintech launched the first Open Banking offering in the country, based on Mastercard’s technology. According to CNBC Africa, in March 2021, the South African Reserve Bank initiated consultations within the financial industry regarding consumer data and cyber security risk management related to Open Banking-enabled payment solutions, particularly in the e-commerce space.

Wits University’s 2021 ICT Skills Survey found that companies within the South African tech sector were finding it hardest to fill vacancies in positions such as software developers, computer network technicians, developer programmers and computer network and systems engineers. Additionally, the most in-demand skills listed by employers are cybersecurity, big data and analytics, DevOps, and artificial intelligence.