Payments industry

Payments Association South Africa (PASA)

PASA is a payment system management body, responsible for organising, managing and regulating the participation of members within the payment system. PASA is recognised by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) in terms of the National Payment System Act of 1998.

Payer Service Provider (PSP)

Payment service providers partner with acquiring banks and their payment processors to offer merchants online services for accepting electronic payments by a variety of payment methods, including:

  • credit card (debit and credit)

  • bank-based payments such as direct debit (EFT debit)

  • bank transfer (EFT credit)

  • real-time bank transfer based on online banking (EFT credit)

In addition to processing transactions, PSP's also offer other services such as:

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI) compliance

  • Fraud protection

  • The ability to process different currencies and translate different languages

The PSP sends (via the payment gateway) the transaction information, initiated by the shopper with the merchant, to a payment processor used by the merchant’s acquiring bank.

Payment System Stakeholder Forum (PSSF)

The PSSF acts as the association of and discussion forum for any person (legal or natural) that facilitates the collection of monies through the EDO Payment Streams. The PSSF require its members to act responsibly in the National Payment System (NPS) and is overseen by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and the creators of the EDO Payment Streams. Persons able to do collections of payments are required to become a PSSF Beneficiary member of the PSSF through the guidance of a System Operator (SO). Banks are also required to register all relationships with the person(-s) that they enable to use the EDO Payment Streams and must load their data onto the PSSF databases.

National Payment System (NPS)

The NPS enables consumers, businesses and any other entities to effect financial transactions to one another by making use of the accounts and payment instruments issued by financial institutions such as banks.

The NPS provides a set of arrangements and infrastructures for these payments, most of which is not visible to the public, that plays an important role in the deeper integration of the South African economy with the rest of the world. It enables the payment for goods and services between South African corporates and citizens as well as their counterparties, both locally and abroad.

South African Multiple Option Settlement (SAMOS)

The core of the South African settlement system is the SAMOS system, which is owned and operated by the Reserve Bank. The SAMOS system provides a facility for banks to settle their obligations on a real-time basis, providing final and irrevocable settlement.

Systems Operator (SO)

SO's provide payment services to two or more persons following payment instructions that typically come from large retailers and banks. The SO, therefore, acts as an electronic enablement intermediary on behalf of a range of institutions, including banks, beneficiary service providers, payment service providers and clients of banks. SOs use APIs and other integrations developed to access customer’s accounts, in order to provide account information services and/or to initiate payments.

Third-Party Payment Provider (TPPP)

A TPPP is typically enabled by an SO (or may be the SO themselves) and may hold funds for payment due in its own bank account for a limited period of time. An SO only provides the technology but does not accept the funds into its own bank account for on-payment to another party.

Payment Clearing House (PCH)

A PCH is a legally binding arrangement entered into by two or more Bank settlement system participants, governing the clearing of payment instructions to be settled by the Reserve Bank’s settlement system participants.

Payment Clearing House Systems Operator (PCHSO)

A ‘PCH system operator’ is defined in the NPS Act as a person that clears on behalf of two or more settlement system participants. Payment instructions are sent to the PCH SO through the various payment networks. It is at the PCH SO that the actual clearing takes place. The clearing process includes sorting the instructions and determining the settlement obligations of the participants. These obligations are then submitted to the Reserve Bank for settlement.


BankservAfrica is an automated payments clearing house located in Johannesburg, South Africa and operates both nationally and within Africa. The company ensures that interbank transactions occur in a properly regulated system, compliant with international banking best practice and standards while reducing risk and complexity in the industry. This has led to BankservAfrica being the trusted partner of the South African financial services industry and integral to the country's national payments system.

BankservAfrica is licensed by the Payments Association of South Africa and regulated by the South African Reserve Bank and the central banks within the African countries where it provides services.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME)

A comprehensive definition of an SME in South Africa is an enterprise with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Fewer than 200 employees,

  • Annual turnover of less than R64 million,

  • Capital assets of less than R10 million,

  • Direct managerial involvement by owners

Enterprise resource planning (ERP)

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a system of integrated software applications that standardizes, streamlines and integrates business processes across finance, human resources, procurement, distribution, and other departments. Typically, ERP systems operate on an integrated software platform using common data definitions operating on a single database.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.