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Innovative payment solutions that are changing the way people transact

Innovative payment solutionsInnovative payment solutions that are changing the way people transact

Things have come a long way since the days of barter, when sheep were exchanged for cattle; spices and salt for silk. We now have the monetary system, and with it a plethora of ways to make sure agreed upon sums of money are delivered to those who are owed it. These payment methods are constantly evolving, changing the way people pay and get paid. In this blog we’re going to take a look at a few of the innovative payment solutions being used in South Africa, as well as some of the smart business technology being developed within the payments industry.

Mobile money and SASSA cards are already immensely popular in South Africa

The rise in the number of South Africans who now own traditional bank accounts is a testament to how much consumers are embracing innovative payment solutions. Government initiatives like SASSA cards are partly to thank for this increase — discussed in an earlier blog — as well as innovative banking offers. The profusion of mobile money accounts in Africa is another indication of the appetite that consumers here have for innovative payment solutions. You’ve only to take a look at other industries from software to mobile phones and cars, to see that innovation is what people want and expect.

Consumers across Africa are confident in these emerging payment solutions and their security

The openness of Africans to these innovative payment solutions is backed by research conducted by MasterCard and Prime Research. They conducted a social listening study across platforms in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, and found that consumers are “generally confident using emerging payment solutions,” and realise just how beneficial innovative payment solutions can be. Another finding of the study was that consumers in these three countries are reassured by the safety and security of payment methods relating to ecommerce and bricks and mortar channels: only 3% of tracked posts were negative about this topic.

Innovative payment solutions like Apple Pay and Google Wallet aren’t confined to the developed world. A quick delve into the payments industry in our own country will show you just how on trend home-grown innovators are on a global scale. Here are just four examples of them:


Now boasting over 20,000 merchants, SnapScan is South Africa’s cardless and cash-free payment system that allows customers to pay for goods using an app and a QR code reader. No doubt you’ll have seen the SnapScan logo at farmers’ markets, cafes or boutiques. The payment solution has made it easy for both customers and entrepreneurs to transact virtually anywhere.

SASSA cards

While no different to a standard debit card, SASSA cards allows millions of South Africans access to formal banking, and has also tackled welfare fraud. Not only that, it has reduced the cost of admin associated with delivering allowances. Those who need to receive social security allowances are now given a SASSA debit card onto which funds can be deposited.


WeChat has now incorporated a mobile wallet system into its chat platform. Users can send money to each other, cash their money out at selected Standard BANK ATMs or retailers, and can even use SnapScan. What’s more, you can buy prepaid airtime and electricity using WeChat, and the money transfer fees are the same as any other Standard Bank transfers.

The future of payments is contactless and biometric

So what’s in store for the future? As we’ve touched upon in our blog about tokenisation and credit card security, MasterCard and Zwipe of Norway are working on a contactless card that’s authorised biometrically. Then there’s the contactless payment system using the same Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that underlies Apple Pay. Instead of having to carry a wallet around, smartphone users can tap their phones on a reader to pay for items.

If you’d like to partner with a company also at the forefront of innovation payments solutions and smart business technology, download the Paycorp brochure to find out about which of our products can best suit your business.