There’s another digital wallet in town… brought to you by WeChat and Standard Bank.
MasterPass was the first mobile wallet to launch in SA last year, also with Standard Bank (and then they also bought SnapScan). FNB has it’s own e-wallet too, but not the quite the same.
The WeChat Wallet is part of the WeChat platform, so you have to be a user of the platform to make use of the wallet features.
What it lets you do is make cash payments directly from the app. I tried it for myself last night at the official launch event in Sandton. We were given credit to load onto the wallets by scanning a QR code, which was then used to pay for food, drinks, or entertainment throughout the night.
Initial setup is simple. You need to first update the app (iOS and Android only) to the last version released a few weeks ago I think. And fill out your ID number, etc; so you have to be over 16 years to use it. You can also link your bank cards to the app to make payments, or send money to others. I haven’t linked my bank card to the app; not sure if I want to just yet.
The wallet itself has other features within it, like using your money to buy airtime, data, electricity, SnapScan integration, cash in, cash out (Standard Bank ATMs, SPAR, Cambridge Foods). You can also top up with instant money vouchers. Regarding the SnapScan integration, the reason you’d use it via WeChat instead of the standalone app is if you only have credit on your WeChat wallet.
The WeChat Wallet allows people with no bank accounts to receive cash via Standard Bank ATMS. The FNB eWallet works the same way too – you can send anyone with a cell number money. The digital wallet also means it doesn’t matter who you bank with. Money can be sent and received by anyone over 16.
From my experience last night, it was fairly simple. I scanned QR codes at the food trucks, drinks and ice cream stands, making payment with SnapScan. Took a few seconds to scan and for the transaction to go through. The only downside to this is you have to have signal on your phone.
Do you use WeChat? Will you make use of the Wallet?
Related: My Top 5 Mobile Payment Apps can be found here
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org