Virgin Money South Africa announced that it has changed its name to Spot Money SA, adopting the name of its Virgin Money Spot app.
This follows the acquisition of Virgin Money SA by “a leading private equity firm”, Spot said, in partnership with the local executive management team.
Absa recently announced that it was shutting down the Virgin Money credit card, after more than 14 years in the country, due to Virgin Group’s divestment from its South African banking operations.
Virgin Money South Africa launched its Spot mobile application in 2018.
The app, which was developed in partnership with wiGroup, started by offering peer-to-peer money transfers and mobile payments.
A few months after the app’s launch, Virgin Money released a new version of Spot that was built on blockchain technology.
Andre Hugo, who was the CEO of Virgin Money SA at the time, and is now the CEO of Spot Money SA, said that they adopted distributed ledger technology because of its inherent safety and speed.
The cryptocurrency token that Spot’s system uses internally is pegged at a one-to-one exchange rate with the Rand.
“All Spot transactions are recorded in our blockchain ledger, which means they are tamper-proof,” Hugo stated.
“Virgin Money Spot is the first retail micro-token exchange in South Africa. What this means for consumers is that we can transfer value in a fast, cost-efficient and transparent manner that protects against fraud and gives our customers peace of mind.”
Spot the open banking platform
After the sale of Virgin Money South Africa, Spot said that it has evolved into an open banking platform.
“Think of it as a no-strings-attached way of managing your money,” Hugo said in a blog post on the company’s website.
“Simply put, it’s a banking platform that’s not aligned to any specific bank. Being bank-neutral means we can partner with a range of financial service providers.”
Hugo said that they don’t lock you into only seeing products from your existing bank.
According to the Spot Money website, the Spot app is now an offering by Spot Money SA (Pty) Ltd, in association with Bidvest Bank Ltd.
Payments app with free transactional bank account
Spot’s mobile payments services are powered by Mastercard, offering interoperability with South Africa’s major QR code-based mobile payments platforms: SnapScan, Zapper, wiCode, and Masterpass.
Clients also get a free transactional bank account with Spot, which includes access to a debit card.
Purchases made with the Spot app or debit card, whether local or international, are free.
Spot also still offers free peer-to-peer transfers within its own ecosystem.
According to Spot’s schedule of fees, the only transactions that attract fees are cashing out, including ATM withdrawals and EFTs out of your account.
Why Spot Money?
Hugo said that they decided to launch South Africa’s first open banking marketplace to help their clients feel more in control of their money.
“As South Africa’s newest fintech brand, Spot aims to disrupt the local financial services industry by providing the country’s first open banking offering,” he said.
“Central to the rebrand is the launch of the latest version of the Spot app, which is currently in a beta-phase and available to both existing and prospective Spot customers.”