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Standard Banks snaps up SnapScan maker

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Published Dec 10, 2016

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Johannesburg

– Big four bank Standard Bank has bought a majority stake in Firepay – the team

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behind SnapScan.

In

a statement on Friday, the bank said the deal – for an undisclosed amount – was

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“testament” to its commitment to innovation.

Firepay

launched in 2013 to take advantage of mobile payments technology and is an

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app-based solution to carrying around cash or credit cards.

A

year after launch, Firepay, in partnership with Standard Bank, launched

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SnapScan to allow customers to pay for goods and services using only their

mobile phone.

SnapScan

now has more than 32 000 merchants signed up, as well as what it calls a vast

user network across South Africa, according to its website.

The

app supports credit cards and most debit cards from any local bank, as well as

3D Secure-enabled international bank cards.

To

make a payment using SnapScan, you call up the app, scan in the merchant’s QR

code (QR stands for quick response, and the code looks like a mosaic bar code),

enter the amount payable, enter your unique PIN and hit “pay”.

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World

Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck says it makes sense for Standard Bank to buy the

stake as it is a growth industry. In addition, he says, the bank is shoring up

its own efficiencies.

“Mobile

payments make so much sense; they just make the process seamless.”

Standard

Bank SA head of card and payments Lincoln Mali says the deal shows the bank’s commitment

to innovation and working with industry leading fintechs to bring relevant

solutions to customers.

Goldstuck

says the mobile payments industry is very competitive locally, and becoming

more so, although it is dominated by SnapScan. He says other notable players

include Zapper, while Yoco is making inroads.

Goldstuck

adds “everyone is keeping a close eye on the space to see where they can play”.

Standard

Bank says SnapScan will continue operating as normal, with the Firepay team

staying onboard to grow the product, so there will not be any disruption to its

services.

In

addition to SnapScan, the Firepay team’s technology platform also enables

payments for several clients, including WeChat and Masterpass. It will continue

to develop and expand its offering to provide a range of product development

and payments services.

Firepay

CEO Kobus Ehlers says the team is 

excited to work with Standard Bank to “solve the real-world payments

problems we have always focussed on”.

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