SA payments startup SnapScan acquired by Standard Bank

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South Africa’s Standard Bank has acquired a majority stake in Firepay, the company behind mobile payments solution SnapScan.

Firepay, formed in 2013, launched SnapScan in partnership with Standard Bank in 2014. The product allows users to pay for good and services by scanning a QR code on their mobile phones.

SnapScan now has a national network of more than 32,000 physical and online merchants, while Firepay’s technology platform also enables payments for clients including WeChat and Masterpass.

“This acquisition is yet another testament to Standard Bank’s commitment to innovation and working with industry leading fintechs to bring relevant solutions to customers,” said Lincoln Mali, Standard Bank South Africa’s head of card and payments.

SnapScan will continue operations as normal, with customer and merchants unaffected. Firepay will continue to expand its offering to provide a range of product development and payments services.

“We are excited about working more closely with the Firepay team and think that there is an excellent strategic fit between their capabilities and Standard Bank’s vision for a truly universal bank, both in South Africa and throughout the African continent,” said Wendy Pienaar, head of emerging payments at Standard Bank.

“Firepay’s experienced team and industry know-how will be used to bolster Standard Bank’s emerging payments strategy.”

Firepay chief executive officer (CEO) Kobus Ehlers said his team was looking forward to building out its payments platform to solve real-world payments problems and provide customers with the best experience possible.

“We’re excited to work with Standard Bank in our mission to achieve this both in South Africa and across the continent,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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