South African Company Randomly Wiring Money to Consumers’ Phones

Financial InclusionNet1 Mobile Solutions, a South African company offering a range of financial and digital products and services, has announced a promotion that will see numerous customers randomly awarded cash prizes over the holiday season. It’s a promotion supporting the company’s Umoya Manje service; the name translates as ‘Airtime Now’, and the service essentially provides prepaid mobile connectivity. A similar offering from the company, ‘Power Manje’, provides prepaid electricity.
The company’s goal is to get more people using its online banking services, and to that end the promotion will see the monetary prizes electronically transferred directly to winners. They have to sign up for the service, of course, but it’s possible to cancel at any time; those who want to cancel their cancelation can reactivate the service via biometric authentication.
Mobile phone use is rampant in a number of African countries, and as more and more smartphones start to implement biometric authentication systems like Apple has with its TouchID system, it’s making it easier for consumers to securely do financial transactions through their phones. With mCommerce on the rise, it seems only natural that in a country like South Africa we’re now finding mobile banking services wiring people money as a promotional campaign and using biometric authentication like it’s no big deal.