SPAR Beep, beep, ching, ching!
Around 35 million people in SA have a cellphone, it seems, while only 11 million of us have a bank account. And of those who have the former but not the latter, plenty want to get some of their money from point A to point B, pronto. Enter SPAR, whose Instant Money JV with Standard Bank enables people with cellphones to transfer cash between SPAR branches for cheap. The big plus for rural punters, who are more likely to be on the receiving end of these transfers, is that SPAR has such a healthy footprint in the sticks, and the banks do not. Research business Gartner believes that by 2012, cellphone banking will be in the top 10 mobile apps.
Comment: An ingenious twist on Shoprite’s Money Market idea, and perhaps the first brave steps in the race to become SA’s first true retailer/banker.