South Africa has a population of 52.27 million, of which 13.8% live on less than USD 1.25/day. Post the Apartheid era, the financial inclusion landscape of South Africa has improved. About 54% of the population reports usage of a formal account, enabling both deposits and withdrawals at a bank, credit union, cooperative, post office or MFI. On the savings front, 31% of South African adults save with about 50% of them using formal means and the other 50% using informal means. In terms of accessibility, in 2010, there were about 52 ATMs and approximately 700 point-of-sale (POS) terminals per 100,000 adults.
There are 18 MFIs and 1.6 million borrowers in South Africa. Providers of primary microfinance services in South Africa can be divided into seven categories: microenterprise lenders, salary-based microlenders, co-operative financial institutions, primary banks, alternative banks, affordable housing finance suppliers, and retailers. Around half of the MFIs employ a group based lending methodology and the others employ an individual based methodology.
South Africa has a well-developed mobile telecom industry with five mobile network operators (MNOs) - Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, 8ta, and Virgin Mobile. The mobile penetration rate for the country is around 65.7%.
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is the central bank, and it supports G-20’s efforts to promote financial inclusion, especially in areas such as the legal and regulatory frameworks and in promoting transparency of information.