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Standard Bank earlier this week launched SimplyBlu, a platform that makes it easier for small businesses to trade online.
The bank claims that the solution, which it has developed in partnership with Mastercard, is the first of its kind to be offered to small businesses by a financial institution in the country.
The platform is only available to merchants in South Africa at the moment.
SimpyBlu is only available to merchants in South Africa at the moment
In a statement to Ventureburn today the bank said to access the platform small business users will need to pay a R500 once-off set up fee. Thereafter, users will have to pay a R575 monthly subscription fee as well as regular card transaction fees for merchants.
The platform enables small businesses to accept electronic payments regardless of payment brand, by integrating with the Mastercard payment gateway.
This means small businesses will be able to accept domestic and international debit and prepaid cards from Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, JCB and Diners Club.
In addition, the solution helps entrepreneurs build their own web-stores through its drag-and-drop functionality and built-in templates.
Users can also get customisable e-invoices which allow customers to pay securely through email.
Other benefits of the platform include in-app payments, tokenisation and fraud monitoring.
The platform also allows for:
- Same-day settlement, into a Standard Bank account. This settlement process solves the problems associated with cash flow that often cripple small businesses
- The acceptance of secure payments around the clock, every day of the week
- Customisable electronic invoicing and receipts that can be sent to customers when orders are placed
- Viewing and managing of ones online store
- Shopping cart plugins to be included for all major shopping carts including Shopify and Magneto
Standard Bank head of card and emerging payments Lincoln Mali said that the bank will play an ongoing role in ensuring that the sites abide by the ethical principles expected by public users of the site as well as the requirements of a leading financial institution.
“The monitoring process begins with the on-boarding of customers on the SimplyBlu platform and continues across to the live trading situations.
“Standard Bank, as it carries the regulatory risk, which is part of the SimplyBlu solution, must ensure that sites operate within legal guidelines and offers an ethical service. We, therefore, reserve the right to close a site if transgressions occur,” said Mali.
He explained that the major benefit for customers is that because their businesses are “linked”with SimplyBlu, they can run their businesses knowing that the systems and payment mechanisms are secure.
“Many will be using cards as payment mechanisms for the first time. They can do so knowing that transactions are safe and that their interests are safeguarded,” he added.
ITWeb reported in an article yesterday (5 June) that a number of small businesses used the service during a recent pilot. These include: B_busyinc, NativeChild, Skinny Sbu Socks, Pimville Gin and Ntozinhle Lifestyle.
Featured image: StockSnap via Pixabay