App lets you buy on the run
Using cellphones to make purchases is gaining popularity at markets, restaurants and convenience stores.
Standard Bank's SnapScan application is a locally developed mobile app that allows customers and merchants to complete transactions using a QR code and a smartphone.
SnapScan can be downloaded from your smartphone's app store. You then link a card to your account and secure your card details with a unique PIN that must be entered each time a purchase is made.
SnapScan merchants have a SnapCode displayed at the till point. To pay, a consumer opens the app, scans the code with his smartphone, and enters the amount due.
Once the pay button is hit, the store will receive an SMS confirming payment.
It's a very fast and convenient process and not having to carry cash or a card makes it even more attractive. Merchants registered with SnapScan can be located by using the app's Merchant Finder function.
Absa's Payment Pebble, launched this year, is a merchant-held plug-in device that allows vendors to turn smartphones into mobile card machines.
The Pebble plugs into the audio jack of compatible smart devices and uses the world's first touch-screen PIN entry method.
Pebble enables vendors without fixed premises to accept card payments.
Arthur Goldstuck, a communications technology analyst, believes we should prepare for more innovative payment methods. He said that though Absa and Standard Bank are spearheading mobile payments at the moment their dominance will soon be challenged.