Shoprite says its new transactional Money Market Account will allow private and public sector businesses and institutions to make safe bulk mobile payments to thousands of people, without incurring massive bank charges.
The group launched the updated account in August and is ultimately planning to offer the transactional capabilities of a full banking account.
Shoprite said that customers can use the account to access many of the services available at its in-store money market counters.
This includes services such as:
- Paying utility bills;
- Buying airtime and data;
- Mkaking use of Savings Stamps;
- Sending and receiving money;
- Buying bus tickets;
- Playing Lotto.
Instead of having to stand in long queues to withdraw cash from an ATM, customers can also use their Money Market Accounts to pay for transactions in any Shoprite, Checkers or Usave store.
The latest feature added to the account is for businesses of any size to use the Shoprite Money Market Account to process bulk payments to any number of recipients – who just need a cellphone to access their funds, it said.
“The free digital account – which is safer, more efficient and cheaper than bank accounts – can be used by businesses, government entities, NGOs and charities to pay anybody, whether they are South African citizens or foreign nationals, easily and safely.
“Bulk payments, including rewards, incentives and grocery vouchers, can be sent to recipients who only need a cellphone, even without internet access, to access their funds. This includes grant recipients, the majority of whom shop at Shoprite Group’s supermarkets. ”
The Money Market Account is available on the new Shoprite app or USSD. Shoprite said that there are no forms, no monthly fees, no load fees and no transaction fees. Everyone can open an account, and customers are in full control of their money as debit orders cannot be made.
“It is well documented that money market accounts have become increasingly relevant for South African businesses, government institutions and NGOs as they facilitate payments securely, efficiently and at low cost,” said Jean Olivier, general manager: Financial Services for the Shoprite Group.
Olivier said that the rapid growth in the adoption of mobile money has been spurred on by Covid-19, which has made people increasingly reluctant to use cash.
The pandemic has also highlighted the need for government institutions, businesses and NGOs to get relief and wage payments out as quickly and effectively as possible, especially in light of the challenges of issuing the R350 Covid-relief grant to beneficiaries, and of companies wanting to get funds to their workers during lockdown, he said.
“We understand that the South African Social Security Agency pays R20 for each beneficiary, while EFTs typically cost R7 per transaction. These charges are not applicable on Money Market transactions. The savings are significant.”
To register for the account, Shoprite said that customers can download the new Shoprite app from the App Store or Google Play Store, or dial *120*3534# and enter their name, surname, ID or passport number and choose a five-digit pin.
It added that loading cash into the account will be free.
Customers can go to a Shoprite, Checkers or Usave store, select “Top up Account” on their phone, give the cashier cash and enter the eight-digit token displayed on their phone into the card machine. Balances will then update immediately.