Discovery Bank adds PayShap to payment options

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 18 Jul 2023

Discovery Bank has integrated PayShap into its existing payment infrastructure, to offer clients a single, easy way to make instant payments.

Launched in March, PayShap enables instant digital payments between banks via a real-time clearing system that processes transactions within 60 seconds.

The offering allows South African bank account-holders to pay and receive money (up to R3 000 per transaction) instantly, between participating banks – without having to wait for days before the payment reflects in the recipient’s account.

It is an industry-wide collaboration led by automated payments clearing organisation BankServAfrica, in partnership with financial bodies Payments Association of South Africa and Banking Association of South Africa.

“While other banks use separate payment rails for PayShap, Discovery Bank has fully integrated it with our powerful real-time payment infrastructure to offer more convenient payment solutions,” says Discovery Bank CEO Hylton Kallner.

“To make the payment journey seamless, Discovery Bank uses a single client journey and does not differentiate between costs for different real-time payment infrastructures. This means that, across the board, Discovery Bank clients pay as little as R1 for immediate payments regardless of the network, be it PayShap or any of our other real-time clearance payment infrastructures.”

Discovery Bank joins Absa, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank, which integrated PayShap from prior to the launch, during the trial phase of the instant payment service.

The banks introduced PayShap as an alternative payment option with a different payment process and fees compared to real-time payments. Since its launch in March, PayShap now accounts for 0.4% of all real-time clearing payments in SA,according to BankServAfrica.

Looking at the history of payments, electronic fund transfers make it easier to pay others, but they are processed in batches and therefore aren't as immediate as cash, and require entering account details, according to Discovery Bank.

PayShap makes conducting transactions without the need for bank account details possible. This is done through public and private identifiers, such as a registered mobile number or an e-mail address.

Industry experts previously raised several concerns over PayShap, including pricing complexities, a complex sign-up process and the lack of a business-to-business feature – all cited as factors that may hinder wide-scale adoption of the service.

Other payment options available in the Discovery Bank app include the ability to pay other Discovery Bank clients using a cellphone number. The bank’s Real-Time Forex Accounts enable payments in more than 60 foreign currencies, and Discovery Pay allows members to settle medical co-payments instantly from the Discovery Bank app.

Digital online and in-store payments are also made possible through tap-and-go virtual cards, which are linked to digital wallets like Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and SwatchPAY.