Payments in a snap

SnapScan adverts such as this one are becoming more visible at outlets which support the method of payment. PHOTO: KYle venktess
SnapScan adverts such as this one are becoming more visible at outlets which support the method of payment. PHOTO: KYle venktess

SNAPSCAN payments could revolutionise the way we make purchases on a daily basis.

SnapScan payments have seen a surge in the use of QR (quick response) codes after they first became popularised in 2010. QR codes were used by newspapers to give users access to added content — codes were linked to online sites which were launched when scanned.

Used today, more companies and services are cottoning on to the concept of SnapScan and eWallets as an alternative to the physical wallet.

Instant messaging service WeChat recently launched their own electronic wallet, which creates a virtual Standard Bank account through the app and can be used to make purchases from retailers and services which allow for it.

The eWallet is interest-free and can be linked to debit and credit cards. How it works is that money can be transferred from other accounts into the eWallet which will then store the money virtually. When a user wishes to make a purchase they open the app, and the wallet within the app. Thereafter the user scans a QR code for the purchase they wish to make.

After the code has been scanned the user is asked to enter the desired payment amount and enter in a secured pin through the app, as with an ATM or speedpoint transaction. After processing the request, a series of verifications take place and the money is transferred to the retailer or service provider.

What’s more is that the wallet can be used to transfer money to a child or family member’s account as a streamlined way of sending and receiving cash.

The app also features the option for users to be able to make payments for food deliveries.

Many food and beverage outlets which offer deliveries and have a WeChat profile allow users to make food orders, which can now also be paid for through the app.

WeChat are not the first to make use of SnapScan payments; other apps like Facebook also offer users the option to make cashless and cardless payments.

However, with the service being very easy to use, concerns around security arise.

WeChat can be installed and logged into on only one smartphone device at a time. Once the account is logged out from a device it can be logged on to another device using a password and security pin.

If a user attempts to log on to two devices at once, one of the devices will automatically be logged out. If the account is continuously used to attempt to log into another device the account gets temporarily locked and can only be logged on to in the device the account was first used on.

While WeChat may not be the biggest instant messaging service in South Africa, in east Asia and other parts of the world the app is widely used.

While WeChat may not be the biggest instant messaging service in South Africa, in east Asia and other parts of the world the app is widely used.

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