Mobile payment technology has been one of the most disruptive trends since its inception, and is constantly evolving.
South African mobile payment app SnapScan – which at its core allows people to make quick and easy payments from their mobile phones, eliminating the need to carry cash or cards – is a great example of this.
While scan to pay remains its core value proposition, SnapScan has started to move beyond this.
“Our users’ demands have evolved as a result of the vast functionality they are able to experience with mobile applications on the market today,” said Chris Zietsman, CEO at SnapScan.
As a result, SnapScan is transitioning from scan to pay into a complete payments ecosystem.
Different in-app functionalities
At its genesis, the SnapScan app was synonymous with ‘QR codes’ and ‘scan to pay’, with an objective to provide users with a fast and seamless payment experience at a physical point-of-purchase.
However, the app has evolved and today payments can be initiated from inside the app – bringing app users and merchants closer together.
Expanding the in-app payment features inside the SnapScan app provides a unique payment experience, as the app is not only a tool to make payments with your phone in a physical space but is also a portal to complete various payments from the comfort of your home.
Now app users can pay bills, top up prepaid services, or make donations from anywhere. According to Zietsman, this focus on in-app payments is the largest change in approach since SnapScan’s inception.
Earlier this year SnapScan released an in-app donations feature to help organisations receive funding, which also enables people to repeat their donations, turning them into sustained, monthly contributions.
This is a quick and easy way for people to make donations to the organisations of their choice without needing to use cash, cards, or set up time-consuming EFTs.
“The launch of our in-app donations feature with recurring payment functionality has been very exciting and was very well received by the NGOs who are supported via SnapScan,” said Zietsman.
Users have been keen to engage with the feature, with great uptake in the number of donations initiated in-app and set by users to automatically recur on a monthly basis.
University fee payments
SnapScan also recently partnered with Stellenbosch University (SU), which has made use of exciting mobile payments technology on its campuses, offering safe and convenient solutions to its community.
“By working with SU, we have built the ability for students to load printing credits, pay for meals and other prepaid services, all through the app,” said Zietsman. University fees can even be settled in Bills within the app, using the relevant student number.
As a result, SnapScan has reduced SU students’ reliance on cash and the requirement for students to stand in long queues in order to top up their accounts at tellers.
“The rapid growth in popularity of the feature is fantastic validation that we have succeeded in solving a real problem for students and Stellenbosch’s administrative staff,” said Zietsman.
SnapScan’s future plans
SnapScan intends to keep their momentum of differentiating the user experience through more in-app payment functionality in the years ahead.
“Through releasing a steady stream of in-app payment features over the past year, we are satisfied that our users insist on being able to do more with our app. We are happy to oblige and expand our in-app payment offerings,” said Zietsman.
On top of this, there is a wave of renewed interest in the South African Fintech industry, said Zietsman.
In 2019, a number of Fintech payment companies have raised significant capital from local and international VC’s, which SnapScan sees as fantastic validation of the general payments space as an industry with broad scope for new products and solutions.