South Africa’s lowest-cost bank isn’t a bank

 ·30 Aug 2022

Shoprite Group is planning to expand its Money Market Account to act as a transactional account similar to traditional banking services.

Jean Olivier, the general manager of financial services at Shoprite, said that the new update will be the closest thing to a free, all-inclusive transactional banking experience.

Prior to the update, the Money Market Account only allowed for in-store deposits to be made into the account. After the update goes live, customers will be able to make electronic fund transfers into the accounts.

“Our goal is to become South Africa’s largest low-cost transaction banking account,” said Olivier.

There is only one fee attached to the account: when there are withdrawals from the Money Market account. Aside from that, there are no SMS fees, transaction fees or monthly fees, Olivier said.

Money Market Account Fees

Shoprite is currently targeting customers who earn R10,000 or less a month for its accounts. Olivier said that the account could become the primary banking solution for people in this bracket; however, people who earn more may need more functionality.

The average withdrawal currently concluded on the Money Market Account is roughly R500 and deposits average R350, said Olivier.

As of August, the Money Market Account has 1.7 million users, of which 1.2 million have activated the cash account through the FICA process.

The Money Market has two accounts within it, the voucher account that can be used for rewards on goods sold at Shoprite-affiliated stores and the transactional account.

In terms of business banking, Olivier said the group would be looking solely at the consumer; however, the group encourages businesses to use the accounts as a place to pay employees’ salaries.

Customer service

With the rapid uptick in clientele using the account, Shoprite has been on a recruitment drive to expand its IT and data analytics capabilities.

He said that, unlike other banking companies that are moving further online, Shoprite is ensuring that they have branches and call centres that can assist with any queries with the account.

Olivier said that Shoprite has the advantage of being open from eight in the morning until the early parts of the evening for people who have a query regarding their new transactional account and want in-person consultations.

Combined with the Money Market customer help services in each Shoprite store, the group also has a call centre – resulting in a lot of customer and technical support people as well as call centre workers being in demand.

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