CAPE TOWN, South Africa — With smartphone apps comes an easier, more manageable and convenient life at a low price, and the people in Cape Town welcome it.
Digital payment apps, such as SnapScan, are in growing demand when it comes to traveling light without having to worry about bringing your wallet.
SnapScan allows users to keep their card details encrypted safely on their phone by having both a phone PIN and an app-specific PIN for protection. It’s completely free for users to download with over 14,000 merchants already signed up in South Africa.
Here’s how it works:
1) Search your phone’s app store for the SnapScan app, or visit their website for links to the Apple Store, Google Play and Blackberry World platforms.
2) Download and open SnapScan using your phone’s camera to scan the SnapCode displayed at the checkout or with your bill.
3) Enter the amount you want to pay and confirm payment with a 4-digit PIN.
4) That’s it! You’re done!
With Africa’s largest bank on board, SnapScan provides the speed and security no matter which bank they use, making it accessible for everyone.
SnapScan is also partnered with the City of Cape Town to allow motorists to pay parking marshals in the city as each marshal is equipped with a unique QR code that people can scan to pay for their parking.
“At its core, SnapScan is about giving everyone access to fast, convenient and safe electronic purchases,” co-foudner Kobus Ehlers said. “We designed the product to suit a wide variety of shops, from the largest retailer to a small street vendor selling fruit next to the side of the road.”
The app has joined others in the mobile payment sector including FlickPay, Zapper and GustPay. However, SnapScan has received the most attention, even winning last year’s App of the Year Awards at the MTN Business for best HTML5 app and being a finalist in Most Innovative App and Best Overall iOS Consumer App.
Roughly half the population in South Africa owns a smartphone; thus, it comes as no surprise that the people have embraced mobile payment apps such as SnapScan and others like it with much enthusiasm.
“We aim to drive down the coast of electronic transitions and displace cash payments in many places,” Ehlers tells BBC News.
He also mentions that though SnapScan does not cost shoppers anything, merchants must still pay a small transaction fee that is comparable or even cheaper than using normal credit card facilities.
With this also comes more security given the method of payment. The merchant never has to know your card information since those details are stored on the user’s smartphones and protected with their personal PIN codes.
Cape Town has certainly set a positive trend for Ehlers to envision the growth and potential for mobile payment options to extend in other areas, paving the road at high speed toward a cashless and careless society.
“We hope to be able to continue offering this product to customers in a variety of settings, always making their lives a little easier.”
– Chelsee Yee