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Appdate: Savings Jar teaches kids to master money and dragons

In this edition of his Appdate, SEAN BACHER highlights Sanlam Savings Jar, MiVoice, Zapper for parking, Paymenow, and FNB’s Smart inContact authorisation

Sanlam Savings Jar

Sanlam has launched the Sanlam Savings Jar, an interactive app that teaches children the advantages of saving money and how to do so.  The app works like a game, in which kids become young dragon masters embarking on a quest. The more they save, the bigger their dragon grows.

“Research has shown that South Africa has a poor savings culture,” says Mariska Oosthuizen, head of brand at Sanlam. “We hope this app gets the whole family talking about money – a topic that’s often taboo. Our goal is for it to improve families’ financial confidence and success.”

Occupational therapist Marilize Botha says that gamification works well because the focus shifts from expectation to fun: “That’s when we easily learn and retain information. For example, when children play games like hopscotch, they’re learning maths without being aware of it.”

The Sanlam Savings Jar app also allows kids to learn anywhere, in their own time and on their own terms. 

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the Sanlam Savings Jar website here for downloading instructions.


Many domestic employees don’t have the security of a formal work contract. This means that they could be unfairly disciplined or dismissed, and may be underpaid or given less leave than they’re due. 

The MiVoice app is a mobile HR management solution specifically designed to suit domestic employees and includes the following features:

  • Easy sign-in

MiVoice’s GPS-enabled sign-in and sign-out feature alerts an employer if their domestic worker doesn’t arrive as expected.

  • Keep Covid compliant

It is now law for all employers to screen workers for Covid-19 symptoms on arrival at work. MiVoice ensures an employee is Covid-compliant, with screening questions built into the app’s sign-in feature.

  • Protection under the law

The app puts employees and employers on the right side of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, generating compliant employment contracts, payslips and leave requests.

  • Task management

Daily task lists can be created and employers can set tasks in advance and communicate future chores.

  • Leave calculations

MiVoice’s leave application feature allows employees to request leave in advance.

  • Mobile payments

The employer can deposit wages into an employee’s MiVoice wallets, and all transactions are saved. Both employees and employers can use their wallets to buy airtime, data and electricity.

A MiVoice subscription includes commuter accident insurance that pays out R10 000 to an employee’s beneficiaries in the event of death. Accidents leading to a hospital stay pay out R250 daily for up to 20 days.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Employers pay R49 per month per employee while employees can download and access the app for free.

Stockists: Visit the MiVoice website here for downloading instructions.

Zapper for parking

In eight months Zapper has reduced time to exit parking at Cape Town’s busiest mall, Canal Walk, by 43%. The parking solution has also shown a decrease in the centre’s cash requirements and associated costs.  

The Zapper system was launched at Canal Walk in partnership with Servest in August 2020. The QR code-based mobile payment solution now accounts for 6.3% of payments, with credit card payments accounting for 14% and the remainder in cash. The solution has also shown faster time to exit as shoppers are able to avoid queuing at payment stations. 

“Data shows that since its launch Zapper is being used more than cash, with credit card usage remaining fairly steady,” says Gavin Wood, Canal Walk general manager. “Cashless payments allow us to reduce our onsite cash float, thereby reducing risk and our insurance cover.”

Canal Walk is one of several parking integrations done throughout the country. Zapper’s 1D barcodes and 2D QR code solutions have also been deployed at Cape Gate, Urban Square, Wembley Square, Eikestad Mall, Melrose Arch, and Fourways, with Lynwood Bridge in Pretoria next. 

Platform: Any smartphone able to run the Zapper app

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the Zapper website here for downloading instructions.


Paymenow is offering users the option to buy food from Shoprite directly through the app, and fund a Shoprite Money Market Account. This acts as a virtual wallet, and funds can be redeemed at any Shoprite, uSave or Checkers store, to spend or send grocery vouchers to family or friends anywhere across South Africa.

Following on from its Shoprite partnership, Paymenow will be rolling out a similar offering to Pick n Pay and Boxer Superstores, which will allow Paymenow users to buy grocery items, airtime, data, and prepaid electricity from more than 700 stores nationwide.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Free to download

Stockists: Visit Paymenow’s website here for downloading instructions.

FNB’s Smart inContact authorisation

FNB is stepping up efforts to improve safety and convenience for its customers by changing the way it authenticates them when they use the bank’s services and contact centres.

Users already have to authorise online transactions through the FNB app rather than via the traditional one-time-pin (OTP) sent to one’s cellphone or email address. The Smart inContact secured authentication process now also applies when one contacts an FNB banker or customer service. It will be the bank’s primary means of authentication, shifting away from traditional methods like verifying personal information. 

CEO of FNB Retail Raj Makanjee says: “Current stats show that, on average, the Smart inContact secured authentication rate within the FNB contact centres is already at 70% adoption. This includes the entry-level banking segment, which typically has a lower rate of app adoption. The 70% smart secure authentication rate climbs to 84% within the mass affluent premier banking segment, which is already largely digitalised. The remaining 30% is spread between cellphone banking smart inContact authentication, and customers who use the card and pin authentication.”

Platform: Any device with an Internet connection and up-to-date web browser

Expect to pay: A free download but transaction fees apply

Stockists: Visit the FNB website here to login into your banking profile or to download the app.

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