Spot Money, a new fintech, has officially began operations in South Africa, heralding the launch of the first open banking offering in the country.

As a mobile banking service, Spot Money will offer a range of services by partnering with several financial services providers.

Spot Money is the result of a rebrand of the Virgin Money South Africa business, which was acquired by a South African private equity firm, last year.

It will function in association with Bidvest Bank. The app has been developed with Mastercard’s technology, which enables it to issue physical and virtual Mastercard prepaid debit cards.

The cards can be used at any retail location accepting Mastercard.

The app lets customers create an account with no monthly account fees, allowing them to make direct contactless payments using a mobile phone.

Using the app, they can also order a prepaid debit card which features tap-to-pay for contactless payments. Payments made through the card will not incur any additional charges.

Spot Money has put in limits on the number of transactions including 15 daily transactions daily totalling ZAR30,000 ($1972), 90 transactions per month totaling ZAR50,000 ($3287) and 1,080 transactions a year totaling ZAR600,000 ($39444.6).

It also features Mastercard’s Scan to Pay functionality, allowing users to scan any Masterpass-enabled QR code in South Africa. The Scan to Pay feature will also let users to pay all other major QR code payment types including Masterpass, SnapScan, wiCode and Zapper.

Spot Money CEO Andre Hugo said: “There is more to the future of financial services than making current products and services digital. Spot Money will introduce South Africans to a true Open Banking marketplace.

“As a fintech, our aim is to service the full spectrum of a consumer’s financial needs in a single customercentric platform, giving them the choice to transact seamlessly and review tailor-made financial offers based on their unique needs.”

Mastercard MEA Market Development executive vice president Amnah Ajmal said: “We are committed to leveraging our innovative product and platform suite to accelerate the fintech space in South Africa.

“Our strategy across the MEA region has been to drive innovation through partnerships and we are excited to partner with Spot on the first Open Banking powered offering that provides a superior customer experience with safety and security at its core.

“As a technology partner of choice, Mastercard continues to develop market-leading solutions to drive digital transformation.”