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CAPE TOWN - Shoprite has announced the launch of a new free mobile transactional banking service, Shoprite Money which will give people access to banking services even if they do not have an existing bank account. 

The service will essentially operate virtually with a USSD string via the user’s cellphone. Users will have access to this service once they register for a Shoprite Money account at any Shoprite store. 

“Shoprite is always looking at new ways of delivering on our low price promise. With Shoprite Money, consumers now have access to an easier and more affordable banking service”, said the Shoprite group. 

By using their Shoprite Money mobile wallet, customers will be able to deposit, withdraw, send money and buy groceries at any of the till points in all Checkers, Shoprite, Checkers Hyper and Usave stores. 

This service will also allow customers to engage in electronic transactions such as sending money and buying electricity and airtime.

According to Shoprite, this service makes banking more easier and inclusive. This is because it is widely available to everyone. All transactions are also free, excluding cash withdrawals which comes with an R9.95 fee. 

Interestingly, the user’s mobile number will act as their account number. This may, however, raise concern to some customers but the group assured that the service is regulated. 

“Shoprite Money is sponsored by Standard Bank, which is regulated by the South African Reserve Bank”, said the group. 

“Shoprite Money is powered by the Celbux platform, a proprietary mobile payment platform developed and supported by Celbux, which is a global FinTech company. Transactions are hosted on Google and underpinned by Standard Bank of South Africa acting as the sponsoring bank”, added the group. 

The group believes that this service will be well received by customers as according to them, basic transactional banking services in South Africa are expensive and in many cases still not accessible to a large number of South Africans.

So how exactly does this service work? 

“The Shoprite Money service operates virtually with a USSD string via the user’s cellphone. There are 8 different menu options which enable customers to deposit, withdraw or send money as well as buy groceries at any of the till points in all Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper or Usave stores. Customers simply have to select the relevant menu option. They will then receive a pin number which they need to punch into the pin pad at the till point, where after the transaction is electronically authorised”, said the group. 

The service which has been launched in South Africa this week is set to roll out in multiple African countries over the next 12 to 18 months.

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE