PayTech

Virgin Money claims first retail micro-token exchange in South Africa

Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Money, Andre Hugo

Virgin Money SA has upgraded its person-to-person payment app, Spot, to make it more accessible, increase functionality and make it safer and easier to use, it said.

For the first time, people without 3D secure bank cards will be able to use the app, thanks to the addition of a digital Spot Wallet that allows them to add and receive funds using their bank accounts, the financial services firm said.

Virgin Money SA CEO Andre Hugo said the upgrade addresses one of the main issues that Spot customers have been facing: namely, adding bank cards that weren’t internet-enabled and 3D secured.

“With the previous version of the app, payments went directly into the credit or debit card linked to the app. With Spot 3.0, all payments and referral rewards are paid into your Spot Wallet instantly. New and existing customers can now simply link their bank accounts to cash out money from their wallets.”

Another new feature of Spot 3.0 is the ability to pay merchants directly using the app.

Wherever users see a ‘Pay with Spot’ sign, they can simply click the ‘Pay a merchant’ button and scan the merchant’s QR code.

A national footprint of merchants will be available in the coming weeks and will be announced as they become available.

The new version of the app has been built on Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain) because of its inherent safety and speed. When modelling the new platform for the app, Virgin Money’s product development team referenced the South African Reserve Bank’s “Project Khokha”.

“Virgin Money Spot is the first retail micro-token exchange in South Africa. What this means for consumers is that we can transfer value in a fast, cost-efficient and transparent manner that protects against fraud and gives our customers peace of mind.

“All Spot transactions are recorded in our Blockchain ledger, which means they are tamper-proof. So, Spot is not only mobile, convenient and instant, it’s also secure,” said Hugo.

Spot has seen exponential growth in the past month, said Hugo. The number of Spot customers has grown by 900% in the last 22 days, with P2P payments and group pay increasing by 265%.