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The Rand Goes Digital: South Africa's Push for a Cashless Future

Source: Finance Magnates

Coins and banknotes might soon be relegated to the realm of nostalgia in South Africa. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has unveiled an ambitious roadmap that seeks to usher in a cashless era, prioritizing financial inclusion and economic growth. This strategic shift signifies a recognition that while the nation boasts a surprisingly high level of financial inclusion, with over 94% of adults boasting at least one bank account, a significant portion of the population remains tethered to cash. This persistent reliance on physical currency acts as a barrier to economic participation and innovation. 

The SARB's roadmap acknowledges the progress made. South Africa possesses a sophisticated banking system, a testament to past efforts to make financial services more accessible. However, the roadmap identifies remaining hurdles. These include limited access to digital payment channels for certain demographics, particularly those residing in rural areas, and a lack of awareness or trust in these newer technologies.