Standard Bank of South Africa has publicly launched SnapScan, a QR code-based mobile payment system that has been under development for almost a year.
Developed in conjunction with Stellenbosch-based incubator FireID, SnapScan has been extensively trialled with the participation of some 500 convenience stores in the locality.
The SnapScan app is available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android-based smartphones and works with any Visa or MasterCard issued by any South African bank.
The bank claims to have readied some 10,000 high street outlets for the nationwide launch. Merchants sign up for the service online to receive a unique QR code that they can then print out and place at their point of sale.
To pay at participating merchants, users open the SnapScan app, tap on 'Scan' and scan the SnapCode displayed at the shop. This identifies the shop and prompts the users to enter the amount they wish to pay. A four-digit PIN is required to secure and complete the transaction.
The merchant in return receives an SMS containing a confirmation of payment from SnapScan.
Merchants with a business account can have their receipts paid directly into their bank, while small traders can request a voucher that they can redeem at any Spar outlet or at a Standard Bank ATM.
Merchants pay a three percent fee for any SnapScan purchase. Analytics and loyalty programmes are billed as optional add-ons.
SnapScan is not currently available in large retailers but the bank says it is busy working with them on an enterprise-level application capable of integrating with existing point-of-sale terminals.