Mobile transaction enabler wiGroup has facilitated in-store phone transactions worth over R1bn in 2013 – a 500% increase over 2012 – as major retailers, including Shoprite Checkers and Pick n Pay have come on line with applications like EeziCoupon and MTN Mobile Money.
“This shows quite clearly that mobile phones are now firmly part of the transaction landscape,” says wiGroup CEO Bevan Ducasse. “Over 30,000 point of sale lanes in South Africa are now able to accept mobile payments and process phone-based vouchers and coupons using our WiPlatform solution.”
Ducasse adds that consumers are increasingly comfortable with the idea that discount coupons, vouchers or loyalty points, to take just two examples, can be sent direct to their phones rather than being printed on paper. “Mobile voucher and coupon campaigns are seeing redemption rates of around 50% or more, compared to less than 10% for paper coupons,” he says. “And it doesn’t need a smartphone – some of the most successful campaigns run through wiPlatform have been targeted to lower LSMs where people often have only the most basic phones.”
Ducasse says wiGroup’s core product, wiPlatform, provides an interface between retailers and mobile transaction service providers and applications. “The link at the point of sale was always the missing part of the puzzle,” he says. “Changing anything at the point of sale is cumbersome and expensive – there is no way retailers can do it every time they want to introduce a new mobile wallet, banking service, loyalty or coupon system. But with a platform in place that allows their point of sale systems to talk to any existing or future mobile application, retailers are free to try out new things, and that is the key value proposition we offer to retailers through wiPlatform – integrate once and accept any mobile transaction service provider or application you choose to turn on at your point of sale”
wiPlatform is now in place at points of sale throughout the Shoprite Checkers and Pick n Pay groups, including in subsidiary brands like Boxer and Hungry Lion. It’s also enabling mobile transactions in most of South Africa’s major fast food and restaurant franchises, from KFC and Spur to Kauai and Vida e Caffe.
“wiGroup’s aim has always been to simplify and add value to people’s lives through mobile transacting, and we’re now seeing that value in very real numbers,” says Ducasse. “Now that the basic requirements are so widely in place, we look forward to seeing what innovative ideas, that make use of wiPlatform, retailers and developers come up with next. We have built wiPlatform to be open, interoperable and inclusive; key requirements when enabling a new ecosystem.”