Irshad Kathrada Slide co-founder
Irshad Kathrada Slide co-founder

South Africa’s new startup Slide is joining an increasingly crowded market for mobile money.

The Slide app, founded by three young South Africans who recently returned from living in the States, has been developed to change the way South Africans pay each other.

“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,” says co-founder Irshad Kathrada.

“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.”

Another benefit is that Slide is social – it looks like a WhatsApp or Facebook message when you use it and you can even send payments with emojis.

How to use Slide

Dr Alon Stern Slide co-founder
Dr Alon Stern Slide co-founder

Download the app by searching Slide Financial on the Google Play or App Store and complete a quick sign up form which doesn’t require FICA.

Slide will link with your 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 funded 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.

Person-to-person social payments

Slide home screen
Slide home screen

Kathrada continues, “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.”

Person-to-person payments are a large part of the South African economy, with consumers seeking more convenient and cost effective ways to do this. According to a 2015 FinScope study, bank/ATM (43%) and supermarket money transfers (42%) currently dominate payment channels, while use of cash is in steady decline.

Security

Slide makes use of the highest level security protocols. Payments into the Slide network use the same security protocols as internet banking. Payments from a bank are facilitated by CallPay under the highest level encryption, with advanced compliance levels.

Slide is a gold member of AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs powered by RMI Holdings. Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode, comments, “Slide is a great example of importing a hugely successful international fintech business and localising it. It is very exciting when South African talent returns from overseas bringing their experience and different perspectives. I believe there is a need for a solution like Slide, particularly for the urban millennial consumer.”

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