New fintech app lets you send money to email or phone number for free

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Three local developers have created an app that allows South Africans to send money to another email or phone number for free.

The Slide app has an interface similar to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and facilitates money sending from one person to another via a message on the app.

“In the US we witnessed the huge growth in payment methods and how easy it was to pay people. So we developed Slide – a safe, simple and free way of sending money from one person to another using a mobile phone. Making a payment is as easy as sending a message. It saves you having to carry cash or knowing someone’s bank account details. It also doesn’t matter which bank or mobile network operator the sender or receiver uses. Slide is ideal for parents sending money to their children and for sharing costs like rent, concert tickets or a restaurant bill. A worker who wants to send money to his family within SA can now do it at no cost,” said Slide co-founder, Irshad Kathrada, who together with co-founders Terence Goldberg and Alon Stern, spent some time in the US.

“We researched the market and reviewed payments apps that have worked in SA and those that have failed. Those fintech businesses that failed tried to enter the person to person payments market wanting to pass costs on to the sender and /or receiver, and in some cases restricted use to certain mobile or bank networks, which limits who you can send money to or receive from. This resulted in their lack of success. We used these learnings to develop an enhanced solution.”

Users can download the app on Google Play or iTunes and complete a quick sign up form which doesn’t require FICA documents.

Slide will link with your phone’s contacts so you can choose who to pay or add a new contact with a cell number or email address. Then simply add how much you want to pay, personalise your payment with a message, and authorise and send the money by selecting the bank you are with.

Payments are facilitated using EFT secure technology direct from the sender’s bank account.

The recipient will be notified by SMS and email and then prompted to download the app. The money can be cashed out at any time to his or her bank account with one click. The money typically appears the next business day irrespective of bank. The sender will get a confirmation that the funds have been received.

“As Slide is a social payment mechanism, payments between contacts are as easy as sending a message. It really is the easiest way to pay another person, and as there’s nothing quite like it in South Africa, we expect rapid growth,” Kathrada said.