Among the metal shacks and narrow side streets of SA’s townships, one of the country’s biggest lenders sees a sizeable market it wants to be the first to crack: multimillion-rand businesses operating largely in cash.

FirstRand, SA’s biggest lender by market share, sees enterprises such as Ram Thapa’s, a beauty shop and fast-food outlet with combined annual turnover of R19m but no business account, as ripe targets for a host of financial products.

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