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Alternative Payment Switch

desert with green shrubs

In 2005, SmartSwitch Namibia (Pty) Ltd was established to execute the Namibian government’s vision of providing affordable financial and banking services to their unbanked and underbanked citizens, with the aim of providing equal access to opportunities.


Namibia Post Limited (NamPost), the first customer of the switch, positioned itself as the leading player in financial services to the unbanked citizens of Namibia, and secured significant market share as a result. Since launch, over 700 000 Paycode biometric smartcards have been issued to clients of NamPost, giving Namibians access to basic financial services at over 1000 post office branches and retailers nationwide. Apart from the usual banking transactions like depositing and withdrawing funds from the smartcard, customers can also transfer funds, pay 3rd party bills, open investment and savings accounts and purchase a variety of prepaid services like airtime and electricity.


This project demonstrates the benefits of deploying existing infrastructure (post office branches) to provide services beyond their usual scope. NamPost was able to optimise their operations to include low cost access to financial services for the unbanked and underserved. 


Once Paycode’s technology solution has been deployed in a country, it is extremely easy to extend the range of products, services and institutions in the ecosystem. It is simple and cost effective to add new value propositions such as enabling the payment of social grants at the post office, adding mobile network interoperability with NamPost, or adding traditional banks to the ecosystem so that citizens can transact at multiple financial institutions. Adding ecosystem players like mobile network providers, banks, insurance providers and other financial services players is simple and easy, and provides ongoing improvements, innovations and enhanced services to customers.

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