The Post Office wants to provide affordable credit to the unbanked population and stokvels.

It’s expecting the Reserve Bank to grant it a licence to operate as a commercial bank anytime soon.

Postbank says it has met all the regulatory requirements needed to be issued a licence. About 6 million customers have accounts with Postbank with over R5 billion deposited in the bank.

The Post office is currently administering social grants and other transactions. Now it wants to tap into advancing loans to the unbanked.

Post Office CEO, Mark Barnes says, “I think that is one of our primary purposes is to look at how better we can provide credit at an affordable price to the unbanked and that means you have to think differently about technology.”

Postbank will also be granting loans to small businesses especially the spaza shops in the townships.

And it says these businesses will not need to have collateral to secure a loan.

It’s optimistic that offering lower interest rate to them will help make them more profitable and honour their tax commitments.

“One of the big challenges is that poor people pay the highest costs for unit of consumption because the spaza shops can’t afford to buy wholesale,” says Barnes.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tabled the financial matters Amendment bill in Parliament this year.

The bill is aimed at allowing state-owned entities to establish a bank.