According to Standard Bank’s Head of Innovation and Channel Design, Vuyo Mpako, “We are excited to bring such innovative offerings to all South African businesses. We created this app together with Stellenbosch-based IT agency, FireID in 2013, and it went on to win the 2013 MTN Business’ App of the year award. After extensive beta testing, we’re ready to take this solution to market.”
The challenge that many small enterprises face is the cost of setting up a POS machine combined with interrupted or unreliable connectivity, for example a small business trading at a Saturday market. SnapScan enables small business owners who wouldn’t normally qualify as merchants, to become fully-fledged merchants. All that is required to become a merchant is for the business to register with SnapScan, print the unique QR code and any mobile phone. The business owner can now accept payments from anyone using the SnapScan application.
“SnapScan works amazingly well for formal and informal enterprises alike. We have created a solution that is as easy to install as it is to collect payments. Our business strategy at Standard Bank is to create accessible, convenient and secure solutions for businesses. SnapScan is a pioneering first,” says Mr Mpako.
The process of transacting with this app is really simple. Once the unique QR code has been scanned, purchases are made with a user-selected PIN and the business owner will receive a SMS notification from Standard Bank confirming the transaction. Merchants don’t need any high-tech devices or connectivity – all payment confirmations are delivered using the standard SMS service.
“For small businesses, this is so much more than an app; it’s a real-time retail payment solution that allows business owners safe, secure and convenient payment methods for their customers. Having SnapScan also minimises potential loss due to the lack of a POS system, essentially creating another sales stream.
“South Africa has seen a proliferation of smartphones and an increase in apps available to the consumer. There are apps for almost everything from smart diaries to smart banking. A safe and convenient cashless mobile solution was imminent and Standard Bank found it in SnapScan,” says Mr Mpako.
Collection of funds
SnapScan offers two avenues for the collection of funds. Informal businesses are able to withdraw their earnings by requesting a voucher that can be redeemed at any Spar outlet, or at a Standard Bank ATM. The business owner does not need to have a Standard Bank account to do so.
The second option is more geared towards formal businesses, where the sales are directly credited to the nominated business banking account.
The app is extremely secure which minimises card fraud. With the SMS notification service as proof of payment, the business can be sure that the payment is legitimate.
SnapScan has been successful in businesses across the country and early adopters of this solution include Motherland in Johannesburg and House of Machines in Cape Town.