Mobile phone-based transactions have come of age in South Africa, with wiGroup’s platform, wiPlatform, processing over half a billion rands in transaction value during the first six months of 2013.
“We have seen a 500% increase in mobile transaction volumes through wiPlatform in the first six months of 2013,” says wiGroup CEO Bevan Ducasse. “The market has clearly realised the value of the open platform approach, which makes it easy for retailers and app developers to work together, without having to make expensive and difficult changes at the point of sale.”
Ducasse says much of wiGroup’s explosive growth in the past year is due to the fact that its transaction platform is now active in both Pick n Pay and the Shoprite group, as well as major food and beverage chains. “Mobile banking is one of the most popular applications, along with mobile vouchers and coupons – we are now processing over half a million mobile vouchers and coupons per month.”
Ducasse says the wiPlatform enables retailers to accept any mobile wallet, payment or mobile transaction application they choose. “We provide the connection layer between point of sale systems on the one hand, and the burgeoning mobile transaction app ecosystem on the other. Changing anything on the point of sale is a major pain for retailers, so we’ve made sure they only have to do it once – and after that they’re set for the future. They can accept any mobile transaction type or application they choose, through this single integration to wiPlatform. It’s a very powerful proposition to both sides.”
Ducasse also says consumers should expect renewed interest in mobile marketing and mobile payment strategies from retailers. “Now that the platform is in place, retailers can start to experiment with the mix of mobile applications and strategies that work best for them and their customers,” he says. “It’s not about the technology anymore; it’s there – it’s about what you do with it to differentiate and to add value.”