Standard Bank's mimoney has signed up three more online retailers - Take2, Simplicity.co.za and Luxury4Less. Launched in December 2009, its retail partners include Kalahari.net, Ster-Kinekor, eXactMobile, Mr Delivery, MXit, wireless, incredibytes, eDreams, mitime, eXactMusic and NetFlorist.
The merchant base now covers music, books, movies, computers, cameras, TVs, general electronics, games, fast food, sports, outdoors, airtime, and now clothing and accessories which internationally are the fastest growing segments online.
As John Campbell of mimoney explains "The growth in online commerce in South Africa has always been a chicken and egg dilemma; the main limitation has always been that there are not enough customers with Internet access and a secure payment mechanism to justify the investment for retailers to build online stores. We are definitely seeing a transformation in that space. More and more quality online stores are appearing with compelling products at a good price. We also find that these stores embrace the system because it allows them to break through the barrier of limited credit card customers, which is what it was specifically created for. "
Herman Singh, CEO for mimoney continues, "This online currency is starting to achieve wide acceptance, making it acceptable to all customers whether banked or not, and irrespective of cellphone or network. The natural result of this will be a move away from premium rated SMS and other forms of mobile billing services with their 'obscene' merchant costs. We see a tenfold reduction in costs for the merchant and hopefully this saving will be passed on to the consumer as well. Over time we would hope to see the complete elimination of the use of airtime for payments and the adoption of a formal and approved e-currency."