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Spar embraces m-commerce, introduces PayZone and Loyalty Points

We woke up to news of the launch of Spar’s PayZone initiative this morning and we wanted to find out how the program works and how they have managed to put EcoCash, TeleCash and CBZ in the same room, probably selling the same product.

Our initial impression was that one would be able to use these mobile money and bank platform to conduct purchases in a more advanced manner than they already provide for the everyday customer. Perhaps one web or mobile application linked to all of the three, or an NFC Card with EcoCash, TeleCash, CBZ and so on altogether.

Sounds awesome right?! Well, keep dreaming.

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Spar Payzone is basically an in-store booth that has the main mobile money operators and CBZ bank for now, available for customers. This enables the customer to concentrate on shopping without having to think of all the other errands that have to be done afterwards.

In other words a one-stop-shop for your shopping, bill payments, insurance, ZESA and so forth.  They expect more services to be provided in time. It’s got a great value proposition in terms of convenience, even though I still expected more. I wish they’d also consider the online platforms such as Paynow and Topup by providing internet access in the pay zone.

In addition, Spar will also run a loyalty program that partners other brands in Zimbabwe in different sectors such as Innscor, Edgars and Safeguard in fast-food, retail clothing and security amongst others.

Customers are issued with a My Club card and as they buy goods from participating outlets (The Village Spar, The Bridge Spar, Queensdale Spar and Spar Letombo), they earn loyalty points stored in the card. Each dollar spent earns one loyalty point. Customers can then redeem these points in the store or at My Club partners. 10 points can buy you a two-piecer at Chicken Inn for example, or discount on the cost of your security with Safeguard, depending on the applicable rates.

It would have been more fascinating if they had provisioned POS devices that allowed a customer to walk into any of the partners and redeem points by simply swiping. All the same, one can obtain a physical loyalty voucher at Spar for use elsewhere for now.


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