The Legal and Regulatory Framework of Mobile Banking and Mobile Payments in South Africa

Vivienne Lawack-Davids


South Africa is a developing economy and has both a first and second economy.  One of the problems that it faces is that of the “unbankedâ€, that is, a large segment of the population does not have bank accounts and “banking†happens through informal means.  It also appears from latest figures that more people in South Africa have mobile phones than bank accounts.  The usage of mobile banking and in particular, payments by means of mobile phones, has increased in recent years, with consequent impacts viewed from a legal and regulatory point of view. This paper seeks to examine the legal and regulatory framework pertaining to mobile banking, and in particular, mobile payments in South Africa. Regulatory gaps and areas for improvement are highlighted.  The author argues for a more flexible approach to regulation in South Africa.

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