South Africa-based Standard Bank will formally launch its SnapScan mobile payment application to more than 10,000 merchants across the country, allowing them to accept payments from customers using QR codes and PINs.

The Standard Bank financial services group unveiled SnapScan last year and tested it in the Western Cape prior to its full rollout.

Customers can use their phones to make payments at merchant sites displaying a SnapScan logo without downloading any type of electronic wallet, the bank says.

After scanning credit or debit card details, the card numbers are encrypted on the phone and never disclosed to merchants.

Small merchants benefit the most from the technology, Vuyo Mpako, Standard Bank's head of innovation and channel design, states in a press release.

"For small businesses, this is so much more than an app," Mpako says. "It's a real-time retail payment solution that allows business owners safe, secure and convenient payment methods for their customers."

The app allows merchants to operate without a conventional point of sale system, making it convenient for merchants in open markets, Mpako says.

After the consumer has scanned the QR code for a purchase and entered a PIN, the business owner receives a text message from Standard Bank confirming the transaction.

SnapScan offers two ways for merchants to collect payment. Small merchants can withdraw funds by requesting a voucher that can be redeemed at money exchange outlets or at a Standard Bank ATM in South Africa. The business owner does not need to have a Standard Bank account.

For larger businesses, SnapScan credits funds directly to the merchant's bank account.

Standard Bank South Africa developed the free app through its Beyond Payments innovation department.

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