Retail giant Shoprite is making impressive headway in the financial services space with its new Money Market Account. Until recently, consumers were only able to send and receive money through Shoprite’s Money Market but now, they can also save and spend money.

According to launch material on Shoprite’s website, all that’s needed to apply is a cellphone number and an ID or passport number.

There are no monthly charges or transaction fees.

The account uses Stamps as a currency. Though the Stamps cannot be converted to cash, consumers can use the currency to save, send and spend money on the go. The currency is also accepted at participating spaza shops and other local businesses.

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Customers can also top-up their Stamps at Checkers, Usave and Computicket.

The account is ideal for buying airtime and prepaid electricity on a cellphone device.

With the Money Market Account app, bank cards are not necessary. As part of the product launch, people who open a Money Market Account stand a chance to win a share of R250 000.

Ntombikayise Sithole is a casual worker who does not have a bank account and frequently uses the in-store Money Market kiosk.

She says: “I’m excited about this new account because I can start saving money using my phone. I used to buy actual stamps during the year and keep them in the store booklet so I can use them for Christmas shopping. Now I can buy and use the stamps anytime with no hassles.”

Another customer, Melusi Mkhwanazi, is especially happy that he can now avoid long queues.

“The queues at my Shoprite are usually very long and now with the account, I don’t have to wake up early just to be at the front of the line.”

For now, debit orders cannot be processed on the account.