SnapScan is an award-winning and locally-developed app that allows customers and merchants to complete transactions by scanning a QR code on a customer’s smartphone and confirmed with an SMS sent to the merchant. And yesterday, it was officially launched into the South African market by Standard Bank.
Credit needs to be given to both developers FireID and Standard Bank for making SnapScan as open as possible. Whether you are a consumer or a merchant, you don’t need to be a Standard Bank customer to use the service. SnapScan is also completely free for consumers and the only cost to merchants is a 3% fee on each transaction.
There are no other costs for merchants to register and start using SnapScan which makes it extremely attractive to both formal and informal merchants. In South Africa, this addresses a real problem for smaller merchants who may not be able to afford the cost of setting up a POS machine combined with interrupted or unreliable connectivity.
Signing up as a merchant can be done on the SnapScan website and is quick and easy. Hopefully more and more merchants do so as the success of the service will ultimately depend on whether it catches on with local merchants.
The service has already signed on a number of merchants at local craft markets such as Neighbour Goods. This is great news for merchants as well as customers like me. From personal experience, I always run out of cash at these types of places and spend more time bumbling about like a cash-less idiot than I do enjoying craft beer and Balkan Burgers.
FireID has worked hard to make the service and the app as simple and as easy to use as possible. Once you download the app, you add the details of your credit or debit card, enter your name and you are good to go. To make a payment, all you have to do is:
- Scan a merchant’s QR code at their point of sale
- Type in the transaction amount
- Enter your unique SnapScan PIN
I tested the service by paying for some Coffee at Motherland and the whole process took less than 30 seconds. It was weird not paying with actual money or a card but it was one of those magical moments when you feel like you are living in a futuristic science fiction movie.
The app also has a Find Merchant feature that let’s you search for nearby places that use SnapScan. This feature has a lot of potential, especially once more merchants sign on. In addition to being a payment app, it could also help you find new interesting places and provide merchants with an additional way to attract customers.
SnapScan is a well-designed, simple and easy to use service for both consumers and merchants. The service has a lot of potential and the developers have already hinted at some exciting future plans, including being able to use SnapScan for online payments. It’s great to see something like SnapScan developed locally. Let’s hope local merchants and consumers take advantage of it.
- Locally developed
- Great platform for merchants and consumers
- Use it no matter where you bank
- Simple, slick and easy to use
- Makes you feel like you are living in the future
- May take some time for more merchants to sign up
8 out of 10
Find out more about SnapScan and / or become a SnapScan merchant at www.getsnapscan.com and download the SnapScan app for your smartphone.