On Thursday March 25th, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 3-week lockdown , to curb the spread. However, online payments have spiked up among South Africans after the compulsory COVID lockdown. This could have been as the result of number of banks in South Africa moving to promote virtual banking to avoid the spread of COVID-19. And recently have been advised to avoid cash and ATMs as they are touched and handled by a high number of people daily, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Online financial service, QuotesAdvisor has attested to this after it analysed its website transactions and the results indicate a change in customers’ behavior as a result of the outbreak.
In a statement by Christian Rennella, the CEO of QuotesAdvisor, he stated that:
“Although a 30 percent drop in transactions is expected, online payments will increase by at least 12 percent in relative terms.”
In 2020 digital report by We Are Social and Hootsuite, South Africa has 36.54 million internet users of a total population of 58.93 million people, which is 64 percent of the population who are active internet users.
According to that report, 54 percent of South African internet users use mobile banking or other digital financial services every month. This is far higher than the global average of 35 percent of internet users using online financial services.
There is a a multi-million-dollar battle for online banking is brewing with the likes of Discovery Bank, Bank Zero, and TymeBank among newly-launched digital banks that are jostling for pole position, in South Africa.
Therefore, the use of online financial services in South Africa has started to pick up to a higher-than-usual level in a COVID lockdown.