By Ashleigh Brown, journalist, Justmoney
Pick n Pay
has joined Mobile Money, a bankless service started by MTN. This has given Mobile Money a larger platform and allows customers to do all their shopping with their cell phones at Pick n Pay stores.
, in conjunction with the South African Bank of Athens (SABA) and Boxer stores, started Mobile Money in November 2012. By August 2013 they already had 1 million users.
What is it?
Mobile Money is a bankless service which sets up a virtual bank account for customers. Once users have signed up for the account through their cell phones it allows them to make in store purchases and use the till points as ATM’s.
“Mobile Money is a transactional bank account and is operated under the banking license of the South African Bank of Athens which holds funds in the accounts,” said Peter Malebye, general manager financial services at MTN South Africa.
What are the benefits?
There is also the option to buy a Visa Debit card, which will allow customers to use ATM’s and pay at other retailers.
However, the card does cost R29 but this is a once off fee.
For both MTN and non-MTN customers, there are lower transaction fees. To buy airtime and prepaid electricity is free. If you are a non-MTN customer, then to send money to friends or pay bills will cost you R1 every time.
To view your bank statement and account details, or even change your pin are also free.
A statement released by Pick n Pay said: “The account attracts no monthly or annual account fees. Registration is free and available to all South African citizens 16 years and older.”
Customers with a MTN SIM card will receive 5% cash back on airtime purchases. With the new Mobile Money SIM card (launched by Pick n Pay and MTN) customers will receive 10% extra airtime with each airtime purchase.
“Customers who purchase the Pick n Pay/MTN SIM card receive additional benefits such as an additional 10% extra airtime when they recharge from PnP or Boxer stores, free money transfers (send money from the account, withdraw and deposit cash at tills), once-off 500 MTN 1-4-1 loyalty points and once-off 500 PnP smart shopper points and other benefits. Customers can also earn double smart shopper points at Pick n Pay when using Mobile Money to purchase goods,” said Malebye.
However, customers with other SIM cards can also sign up for the service. They will not be eligible for rewards, though.
High income earners will not be able to use the account as a main transactional account as the rules state that only a maximum of R25000 can be contained in the account at any given time.
Mobile Money reaching unbanked population:
There are other mobile applications which allow people to pay with their cell phones, such as SnapScan and FlickPay. However, these applications are linked to customers’ existing bank accounts.
, powered by Standard Bank, lets the customer link their credit card by snapping a photo of it or manually typing in the details. Once registered, the app is then used to scan the Quick Response (QR) code of a merchant, after the customer will be prompted as to the amount they wish to pay. They then simply enter their pin in order to authorise the transaction.
works in much the same way. It is powerd by WiGroup, and payments are made in three easy steps: confirm the amount of the purchase, the customer will then be asked to enter their secure pin, and finally scan the QR code or enter the WiCode given by the merchant.
Because Mobile Money is a bankless service, it is targeting customers who are currently unbanked, and do not have direct access to banking.
“We believe the Mobile Money account will be a game-changer in bringing the benefits of secure, convenient and affordable banking to millions of people who are currently excluded from the formal financial system and who face prohibitively high transaction costs,” said Richard van Rensberg, deputy CEO of Pick n Pay.
“Our primary target market includes South Africans who are unbanked and under-banked. The Mobile Money account provides access and affordability with the convenience of using cell phone capabilities,” said Malebye.
How to sign up:
• Dial *120*668#.
• Enter your South African ID number.
• You will be asked to accept the Terms and Conditions.
• Once that is done, a SMS will be sent to your phone confirming that you have signed up.
• It will then ask you to enter a five digit pin.
• The sign up service is free.