Standard Bank’s mimoney, South Africa’s first virtual currency enabling anyone to transact online, continues to expand its merchant footprint with the recent signing of three new online retailers. The full mimoney merchant base now means that consumers can buy virtually anything online with the currency.
For the new online merchants: Take2, Simplicity.co.za and luxury e-tailer Luxury4Less (more4bucks), accepting mimoney as a payment mechanism broadens their potential consumer base into the non credit card youth market: and reduces their merchant costs by almost tenfold versus other payment mechanisms.
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 with compelling products at a good price are appearing. We also find that these stores embrace mimoney because it allows them to break through the barrier of limited credit card customers, which mimoney was specifically created for. ‚
Mimoney’s 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 is the fastest growing segment online.
‚The online virtualisation of multiple shopping industries has been underway for some time. From music and gaming to videos and even books, we are seeing dematerialisation happening to reduce costs and increase value for consumers. We now see this happening to cash as well,‚ says Herman Singh, CEO for mimoney.
Singh continues: ‚mimoney, South Africa’s first and fast-growing 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.‚
Launched in December 2009, mimoney’s retail partners include Kalahari.net, Ster Kinekor, eXactMobile, Mr Delivery, mxit, wireless, incredibytes, edreams, mitime, exactmusic and NetForist.