Johannesburg – Standard Bank has announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Firepay – the team behind South Africa’s largest mobile payments product, SnapScan.
Firepay was formed in 2013 to apply new mobile payments technology to build innovative products. In 2014 Firepay, in partnership with Standard Bank, launched SnapScan to allow customers to pay for goods and services using only their mobile phone. Just two years later, SnapScan is now used by hundreds of thousands of customers, at a national network of more than 32 000 physical and online merchants.
Lincoln Mali, SBSA Head of Card and Payments says “this acquisition is yet another testament to Standard Bank’s commitment to innovation and working with industry leading fintechs to bring relevant solutions to customers”.
SnapScan will continue operations as normal, with the Firepay team staying onboard to grow the product. In other words, customers and merchants with any South African bank will still be able to pay with or receive payment via the app.
In addition to SnapScan, the Firepay team’s technology platform already enables payments for several clients, including WeChat and Masterpass. The company will continue to develop and expand its offering to provide a range of product development and payments services.
“We are excited about working more closely with the Firepay team and think that there is an excellent strategic fit between their capabilities and Standard Bank’s vision for a truly universal bank, both in South Africa and throughout the African continent” said Wendy Pienaar, SBSA Head of Emerging Payments. “Firepay’s experienced team and industry know-how will be used to bolster Standard Bank’s emerging payments strategy.”
Commenting on the transaction Kobus Ehlers, Firepay CEO, said “Our team is looking forward to building out our payments platform to solve the real-world payments problems we have always focussed on, and to provide customers with the best experience possible. We’re excited to work with Standard Bank in our mission to achieve this both in South Africa and across the continent.”