As more countries rid themselves of traditional cash transactions and move towards a more digital way of closing transactions, South Africa one of the latest nations to board the cashless bandwagon. 

Studies show that in just a few years’ time, merchants and retailers in South Africa will be utilising scanners for QR codes rather than bank notes at the till. 

This phenomenon has already evolved into a reality in other emerging markets such as China, where the number of transactions made through non-banking mobile applications between 2013 and 2016 

A study by Ipsos revealed that mobile transactions in China grew at an annual rate of 195%. According to CNBC, the sudden hike in mobile payments is attributed to both an avidity by the Chinese public to engage with new transaction platforms, as well as a lack of red tape and a less developed financial system. 

Other Asian neighbouring countries such as India have also taken on the mobile payment trend. According The Economic Times, four months after the launch of Google’s subsidiary payments service Google Tez, the number of digital transactions processed by the Silicon Valley-based firm has already surpassed those of Axis, one of India’s top private banks. 

South Africa is believed to follow shortly after its BRICS fellow countries. Several steps forward have already been taken with over 50,000 merchants across South Africa utilising QR code application-based payment methods such as Zapper and SnapScan. Samsung Pay was also recently launched in South Africa last August.