South Africa’s Standard Bank has commercially launched SnapScan, a smartphone-based payments system that allows its customers to make payments using only their phones. Consumers from any bank, not only Standard Bank, can download and use the app. They provide their credit or cheque card number (no PIN is required) and this information is securely stored using advanced encryption techniques. When they arrive at a point of sale, users simply scan a QR code linked to the merchant and enter the amount owing, or they scan a QR code linked to a specific price. When the payment has been successfully concluded, the merchant receives an SMS confirmation. The bank charges merchants a flat fee of 3% per transaction. The platform potentially removes the need for expensive point-of-sale equipment and could prove popular among small vendors that can’t afford or don’t want to operate traditional payment terminals. Merchants aren’t even required to have a bank account, and can elect to receive their payments in the form a Standard Bank Instant Money voucher, which can be redeemed at Spar supermarkets or at the bank’s ATMs.