Money and Markets

FNB claims it can take outside QR payments at Speedpoints. SnapScan and Zapper disagree.

Business Insider SA
Masterpass: soon minus Zapper, and not with full S
An edited excerpt from MasterCard's Masterpass website.
  • First National Bank this week claimed its Speedpoint terminals can accept payment via various QR apps, in an apparent big leap forward for alternative payment systems.
  • It specifically mentioned the popular SnapScan and Zapper apps.
  • But SnapScan says you can't use its system at Speedpoints, and Zapper says you won't be able to do so after 25 October.
  • Zapper is pulling out of its relationship with MasterCard, which enables those payments, citing "cannibalisation".
  • For more stories go to

You can not, in fact, now use SnapScan to pay at one of the many stores using First National Bank's standalone payment terminals – and soon you won't be able to use Zapper in that way either.

FNB this week announced what seemed to be a breakthrough for alternative payment systems, given its big footprint of merchants.

"Any compatible QR code payments app can be used to Scan to Pay," said the bank in a statement, about its rollout of the Scan to Pay system to its standalone Speedpoint point-of-sale terminals, "a convenient and safe alternative to a bank card."

"Scan to Pay is powered by Masterpass, Mastercard’s digital payment service, which is interoperable with almost every major domestic QR code payment service," said FNB. "Therefore, consumers will be able to use any compatible mobile QR code scanning App on FNB Speedpoint devices including FNB Scan to Pay, SnapScan and Zapper etc."

But those two payment system companies disagree.

SnapScan users can not pay using the app at FNB Speedpoints, said SnapScan CEO Chris Zietsman.

"The SnapScan app can scan and pay some non-SnapScan generated QR codes. Before these are enabled, we carefully assess the security, user experience and tech stability of these solutions based on specific criteria to ensure the seamless experience our customers have come to appreciate.

"Although SnapScan app users cannot currently scan FNB Speedpoint devices, they can already pay at a wide range of Masterpass enabled businesses such as Engen convenience stores, Payfast ecommerce merchants, and Takealot."

SnapScan will be adding to that list in coming months, Zietsman said.

Zapper, meanwhile, said it will be pulling out of the Masterpass ecosystem entirely, which means its app and Speedpoint terminals will no longer talk to one another after 25 October.

"The interoperability agreement between ourselves and MasterPass began with the intention of broadening the network for both parties," said CEO Brett White in a statement to Business Insider South Africa.

"However, the way in which the interoperability was implemented, introduced some unintended consequences, primarily the introduction of friction into our standard payment experience, the cannibalisation of our outlets and the disintermediation of the market."

FNB's head of digital payments Jason Viljoen described as "very unfortunate" – especially for merchants and consumers – the impending end of interoperability.

Reducing fragmentation across payment systems is a strategic driver, he said, and FNB would now have to start communicating to the market that not all QR code systems will work at its terminals.

Masterpass had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

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