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Instant Money gains 70k new customers monthly

Digital money transfers are becoming South Africa’s main method of transferring cash across the country.

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Digital money transfers are becoming South Africa’s main method of transferring cash across the country. Volumes of transferred money climb at the end of each month, during long weekends, school holidays and during traditional peak holiday seasons.

Standard Bank offers the Instant Money transfer service at more than 6500 access points across the country.

Nelisa Zulu, head of Merchant Solutions at Standard Bank, attributes the growth in money transfer transactions to the fact that South Africans, including those without formal bank accounts, are becoming comfortable with digital banking services.

Month-on-month, Standard Bank is seeing 70 000 new customers using the Instant Money service.

“We are finding that Instant Money is particularly popular with people living in the cities who wish to transfer money to family members in rural areas. The fact that the money sent can be collected at Standard Bank ATMs or other designated collection points within most communities makes it more convenient than other forms of payment in the country which take time to be complete,” says Ms Zulu.

Transaction volumes on the Standard Bank Mobile App continue to grow more than 70% year-on-year, with average user transaction values having increased from under R500 to over R700 in the last few years. Holiday periods like Easter and Christmas holidays see an increase in value and volumes of Instant Money transactions, with KZN and the Eastern Cape being the biggest recipients of Instant Money vouchers.

Instant Money enables customers to transfer money safely and conveniently at a fraction of the cost. Average costs are between R 9.95 and R12.50 per transaction, with no fee to the beneficiary. More than R60 billion has been processed since the inception of Instant Money.

Zulu says: “We are also seeing a big increase in Instant Money for Businesses with annual growth of over 100%. Bulk Instant Money allows businesses of any size to disburse funds through the Instant Money platform to any person in real-time.  Recipients don’t need a bank account and can collect their funds at a date and time of their convenience. We have examples where businesses had payment challenges and, at short notice, had to pay more than 2 000 employees. Instant Money Bulk payments were utilised to facilitate this transfer of funds.”

The flexibility of the Instant Money service is also an advantage. It offers benefits which include:

  • Providing cash to people who are ‘unbanked’ and need money for their daily activities;
  • Having instant access to cash when there is an emergency;
  • Being able to make payments to people without knowing their banking details; and,
  • Distance is not a factor which influences payment reliability.

Accessing Instant Money is possible through online banking, mobile app, cell phone banking or at Standard Bank ATM’s or retail partners, making Instant Money the most accessible money transfer in the country based on a variety of locations.

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Millennials turning 40: NOW will you stop targeting them?

It’s one of the most overused terms in youth marketing, and probably the most inaccurate, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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One of the most irritating buzzwords embraced by marketers in recent years is the term “millennial”. Most are clueless about its true meaning, and use it as a supposedly cool synonym for “young adults”. The flaw in this targeting – and the word “flaw” here is like calling the Grand Canyon a trench – is that it utterly ignores the meaning of the term. “Millennials” are formally defined as anyone born from 1980 to 2000, meaning they have typically come of age after the dawn of the millennium, or during the 21st century.

Think about that for a moment. Next year, the millennial will be formally defined as anyone aged from 20 to 40. So here you have an entire advertising, marketing and public relations industry hanging onto a cool definition, while in effect arguing that 40-year-olds are youths who want the same thing as newly-minted university graduates or job entrants.

When the communications industry discovers just how embarrassing its glib use of the term really is, it will no doubt pivot – millennial-speak for “changing your business model when it proves to be a disaster, but you still appear to be cool” – to the next big thing in generational theory.

That next big thing is currently Generation Z, or people born after the turn of the century. It’s very convenient to lump them all together and claim they have a different set of values and expectations to those who went before. Allegedly, they are engaged in a quest for experience, compared to millennials – the 19-year-olds and 39-olds alike – supposedly all on a quest for relevance.

In reality, all are part of Generation #, latching onto the latest hashtag trend that sweeps social media, desperate to go viral if they are producers of social content, desperate to have caught onto the trend before their peers.

The irony is that marketers’ quest for cutting edge target markets is, in reality, a hangover from the days when there was no such thing as generational theory, and marketing was all about clearly defined target markets. In the era of big data and mass personalization, that idea seems rather quaint.

Indeed, according to Grant Lapping, managing director of DataCore Media, it no longer matters who brands think their target market is.

“The reason for this is simple: with the technology and data digital marketers have access to today, we no longer need to limit our potential target audience to a set of personas or segments derived through customer research. While this type of customer segmentation was – and remains – important for engagements across traditional above-the-line engagements in mass media, digital marketing gives us the tools we need to target customers on a far more granular and personalised level.

“Where customer research gives us an indication of who the audience is, data can tell us exactly what they want and how they may behave.”

Netflix, he points out, is an example of a company that is changing its industry by avoiding audience segmentation, once the holy grail of entertainment.

In other words, it understands that 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds are very different – but so is everyone in between.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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Robots coming to IFA

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Robotics is no longer about mechanical humanoids, but rather becoming an interface between man and machine. That is a key message being delivered at next month’s IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin. An entire hall will be devoted to IFA Next, which will not only offer a look into the future, but also show what form it will take.

The concepts are as varied as the exhibitors themselves. However, there are similarities in the various products, some more human than others, in the fascinating ways in which they establish a link between fun, learning and programming. In many cases, they are aimed at children and young people.

The following will be among the exhibitors making Hall 26 a must-visit:

Leju Robotics (Stand 115) from China is featuring what we all imagine a robot to be. The bipedal Aelos 1s can walk, dance and play football. And in carrying out all these actions it responds to spoken commands. But it also challenges young researchers to apply their creativity in programming it and teaching it new actions. And conversely, it also imparts scholastic knowledge.

Cubroid (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Korea starts off by promoting an independent approach to the way it deals with tasks. Multi-functional cubes, glowing as they play music, or equipped with a tiny rotating motor, join together like Lego pieces. Configuration and programming are thus combined, providing a basic idea of what constitutes artificial intelligence.

Spain is represented by Ebotics (Stand 218). This company is presenting an entire portfolio of building components, including the “Mint” educational program. The modular system explains about modern construction, programming and the entire field of robotics.

Elematec Corporation (Stand 208) from Japan is presenting the two-armed SCARA, which is not intended to deal with any tasks, but in particular to assist people with their work.

Everybot (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Japan approaches the concept of robotics by introducing an autonomous floor-cleaning machine, similar to a robot vacuum cleaner.

And Segway (Stand 222) is using a number of products to explain the modern approach to battery-powered locomotion.

IFA will take place at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds (ExpoCenter City) from 6 to 11 September 2019. For more information, visit www.ifa-berlin.com

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