Stanbic introduces QR Code payment solution, here’s why it won’t work

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
Zimbabwean banks, Stanbic Africa, Standard Bank

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.


What’s your take?

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  1. Taps

    There has been a number of changes since the launch of the product by Ecobank. The scan and pay platform is now USSD based which makes it more convenient to those without data. With suspension of merchant transactions on the MNO front we are likely to see an increase in such transactions because payroll will be credited into bank accounts.

    1. Anonymous

      But the Ecobank is just crap. Customer service wise. If you are a serious business person this is a bank to avoid. You will waste serious time in the bank queue trying to rectify problems created by the bank itself to your monies

      1. Yanis Star

        Kkkkk these days, all banks are really poor at customer services.. but I think Ecobank is becoming legendary on shoddy service..

  2. Yanis Star

    My view Valentine, the QR codes will work here. There are just a few things that we need to ensure that they are in place. And I am aware that some banks are already finalizing deployment of MVisa. What is needed is to ensure that the ZSW rails recognize the the transaction.. this was the challenge with Ecobank. Banks are pushing this because they realise that the cost of POS terminals is just too much. Regarding data, its neither here nor there. As soon as customers realise that the QR codes are faster, and efficient.. add the corona virus thing, where I have to scan and dont have to touch the gadget, this is the right time to deploy scan solutions. I would love to be proved wrong.

    1. Valentine Muhamba

      If they can deploy technology in a manner that is as efficient as the services on offer then I would happily welcome it. What we need is something that is simple to use, fast and is available on a number of different devices regardless of their capabilities. I am a fan of QR codes, they offer a security and speed. It’s just in this application there are a number of considerations that need to be made before it can be widely adopted as well as leave no Zimbabwean behind.

      I could be wrong though, time will tell…

    2. Naison Sebastian

      Valid and insightful points there …

  3. wokenman

    QR is about to come into its own now though – but you will HAVE TO do it through WhatsApp if you want real mass adoption. Just make it link to a Bot and then let the Bot do the rest. WhatsApp is rolling out QR functionality and it’s the one app EVERYBODY HAS. Zvimwe zvese kutamba – if you need customers to download your app or have a standalone QR app just to read the codes then it’s already DOA

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