Stanbic has partnered with Slydepay to offer QR code payment to Stanbic Zimbabwe customers. Stanbic Bank say that their customers can download Slydepay app to access QR Code payments.
What is Slydepay?
Slydepay is a mobile money platform that was developed by a Ghanaian company called DreamOval Limited. Slydepay allows businesses and individuals to create profiles and then link their bank account(s) in order to transact.
Businesses can open a Slydepay account and have a QR Code generated for their shop. Businesses can also keep track of payments, generate invoices and do bulk transfers. Individuals can pay for utilities goods and services as well as send money to other people.
In Zimbabwe, Stanbic customers can download this app, create a profile, and then link their bank account to the app. They can then use the app to make payments via merchant QR Codes.
So, what’s wrong with this?
When I first saw it I was admittedly a little excited, as I am with anything that makes transacting more convenient. At first glance I thought that this was integrated to the regular Stanbic banking app. Then looking more into it saw, as I have said earlier, it’s a separate app entirely.
Now, the reservations I have about this are:
- How many customers have the regular Stanbic app?
- Of those customers who have the app, how many Stanbic customers have the data to regularly use the Stanbic app (These apps usually require data and with prices of data being the way they are, it’s hard to see many people using it)
- Now, Stanbic is asking its customers on top of the Stanbic app to download another application to access this service. (Again Data)
- What of the merchants and outlets? How many have already facilitated this kind of payment method?
The novelty of QR codes works in certain areas, for example WhatsApp letting you share your contact information. That saves both parties a little bit of time, the person you are giving your contact details would just scan the code and the contact is shared.
For one thing WhatsApp didn’t say go and download another app to have this feature. It’s built in to the app already.
Haven’t we seen this before?
Ecobank tried something similar, they launched Masterpass and Pay+Scan. These were both QR Code payment methods, the former was in partnership with Mastercard and the latter with Visa. Both these features were integrated into the Ecobank app.
Aside from that the mobile money environment in Zimbabwe is tailored to services that work with or without internet. Data is expensive and to maximise reach and convenience, EcoCash and others can work through an app or through USSD. You don’t have to have an internet capable device to transact.
To be able to compete with what is already there, and especially in Zimbabwe, I think any product has to be more accessible and more convenient than the ones that exist already.
It’s difficult for me to see this taking root. There are services already that work just fine. I haven’t seen any merchant QR Codes at tills in shops or anywhere else. Ecobank tried this and it didn’t stick. That experiment should have been warning enough that expending resources in this arena won’t have the desired effect.