Spot Money has introduced open banking offering in South Africa, in a move that followed the 2020 acquisition of Virgin Money South Africa by a local private equity firm, in partnership with the local executive management team
Virgin Money has been rebranded into Spot Money.
Spot Money’s app is now live on all major app stores: Apple, Huawei and Google Play Store.
Andre Hugo, who continues at the helm of the Spot Money business as CEO, said the app was a significantly revised offering which would introduce Spot’s entry into Open Banking.
He said this also heralds the beginning of a fundamentally different business strategy as the company drives fintech forward in South Africa.
“There is more to the future of financial services than making current products and services digital. Spot Money will introduce South Africans to a true Open Banking marketplace,” said Hugo. “As a fintech, our aim is to service the full spectrum of a consumer’s financial needs in a single customer-centric platform, giving them the choice to transact seamlessly and review tailor-made financial offers based on their unique needs.”
Hugo said an Open Banking marketplace would bring a new dimension to enabling consumers to manage and control their money.
“An Open Banking marketplace gives consumers more choice when it comes to managing their money. It’s a marketplace where highly personalised financial services such as loans and insurance are coupled with lifestyle services, rewards, and a wide range of value-added services,” he said.
While Spot is bank neutral and will partner with a range of financial services providers, it is anchored by the banking industry and functions in association with Bidvest Bank. The new Spot app has been developed using Mastercard’s technology, allowing Spot to issue physical and virtual Mastercard prepaid debit cards. Users can then transact at any retail location that accepts Mastercard.
The Spot app provides an intuitive mobile transactional account with no monthly account fees. The app will also enable direct contactless mobile phone payments using Mastercard’s tokenisation technology, aligned with the world’s growing adoption of contactless transactions. Customers will be able to order, within the app, a physical Spot prepaid debit card which is tap-to-pay enabled for contactless payments.
Spot also features Mastercard’s Scan to Pay functionality, which enables users to scan any Masterpass-enabled QR code in South Africa for the purchasing of goods and services. Spot is the only app that gives customers the ability to Scan to Pay all of the major QR code payment types – Masterpass, SnapScan, wiCode and Zapper.
“We are committed to leveraging our innovative product and platform suite to accelerate the FinTech space in South Africa. Our strategy across the MEA region has been to drive innovation through partnerships and we are excited to partner with Spot on the first Open Banking powered offering that provides a superior customer experience with safety and security at its core. As a technology partner of choice, Mastercard continues to develop market-leading solutions to drive digital transformation,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President for Market Development MEA at Mastercard.
The Spot Money management team will continue to steer the fintech as a leading local innovator.
“The way in which traditional banks and financial technology companies interact with one another is changing dramatically as Open Banking becomes the norm. We are poised to develop Spot Money as a major part of this evolution in South Africa,” said Hugo.
South Africa’s AuthGate – an enabler for digital payment – is planning to expand into The Netherlands and Belgium.
The FinTech startup founded in January 2018 sees significant opportunities in Europe.
Sameer Jooma, who recently joined the board of AuthGate in 2020 as a non-executive director, says the company was registered in the Netherlands in 2019.
“We see a significant opportunity in Europe with Open Banking initiatives like PSD2 (European regulation for electronic payment services) and have partnered with several payment processors to offer localised mobile payment acceptance solutions,” says Jooma.
“Our products have been well received and we already support the Dutch iDEAL payment platform as well as the Belgium Bancontact mobile payment system.”
Jooma says AuthGate is easily and rapidly scalable internationally and across various sectors.