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Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2003 (Act No. 53 of 2003)

Industry Charters

Financial Services  Charter

Code Series FS800: Measurement of the Access to Financial Services Element of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment

Statement 801: The Measurement of the Access to Financial Services Element of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment as it relates to members of the Banking Association of South Africa

3. The Definitions, Standards, Target Markets and Key Measurement Principles of Access to Financial Services

3.3 Product access




Despite the perception of the success of the Mzansi account, banks found that the product is not as successful in penetrating the target market as was originally hoped for. This is mainly due to the stigma of it being perceived as a "poor person's" banking product. The Mzansi product is limited in what it offers and is therefore quickly outgrown by its user. This necessitated the various participating institutions to expand their own offerings, which are far more successful at achieving financial inclusion, yet these products are not recognised as part of the opening-up of the target market.


Target market


The target market will be the LSM 1-5 group of the economically active population.




Any product will qualify as an Access Product if it conforms to the minimum Access Standard which will be negotiated as part of the sector code process, in accordance with applicable law.



Approval may be required through the PASA, CompCom or any other relevant process and it is expected that the Sector Council lobby the relevant stakeholders in order to facilitate this proposal.




Any bank may apply to the Sector Council to have any number of products approved as Access Qualifying Products for the purposes of meeting their Access Targets. The Council shall approve such products if the product meets the minimum Access Standard. Each bank is then free to brand their qualifying product as they deem appropriate and sell it into the market in the most appropriate way that is aligned to their own strategy and in a manner that promotes financial inclusion.


To achieve the above, the current Saswitch /PASA agreements may need to be restructured and renegotiated. Much simpler agreements that promote the correct behaviour are envisaged.




The Reserve Bank is facilitating and overseeing a revision of interchange rates for all payment streams in South Africa, including interchange in the card environment. The Terms of Reference for the project is supported by the National Treasury and the Competition Commission, and has been endorsed by the Bank's Governors' Executive Committee.


According to the Terms of Reference, the objective of this project is for the Reserve Bank to "facilitate a fair and transparent process whereby interchange rates for each of the payment streams, officially recognised and registered with the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA), are reviewed in terms of:

Whether they are feasible and/or justifiable in that stream; and
Are realistic and appropriate for that payment stream based on acceptable parameters."
Furthermore, the Terms of Reference state: "It will be a specific requirement in this project that stakeholders will not be permitted to gather together to discuss interchange or specific aspects relating to the determination of the actual interchange rate".




Each institution will be measured according to the number of accounts with activity within the last 180 days, based on the level of conformity allocated by the Sector Council.