Arif Ismail is the Head of Fintech at the South African Reserve Bank. He is responsible for setting policy direction on crypto assets in SA, the implementation of hubs and sandboxes and for central bank experimentation on central bank issued digital currency. He currently co-chairs the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group leading the charge to revised policy stances on Fintech. He was Head of Oversight: Payment Systems from 2015 to 2017. Arif was responsible for the South African national payment systems strategy, Vision 2025. He is a member of the BIS Working Group on Digital Innovations and member of the FSB Financial Innovation Network.


Arif holds a BSc in mathematics and physics, an MBA through GIBS, and a DBA on strategic leadership and transformation. His area of interest spans the change domain, and includes a focus on complex adaptive systems, social cognition and leadership theory.