These mobile payment platforms do not require a bank account or credit card

  • For people in rural areas who have no address or papers to prove it, FICA becomes impossible.
  • Those who are unbanked now have more options with financial service providers targeting them.
  • Here are four mobile payment platforms to use without a bank account or credit card.
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You may have heard the term “unbanked” in recent years, referring to the population that does not have their own bank account.

Opening an official bank account comes with the expected paperwork which is the FICA process. But this can be difficult for those who live in rural areas and do not have an official address or documents to prove it.

This, among other barriers to entry, has given rise to a range of financial services that do not require a bank account or credit card to make or receive payments.

Here are 4 examples of mobile platforms that do not require a bank account or credit card to use:

cash money

Cash money.

The Spot Money app was relaunched in 2021 as South Africa’s first “open banking platform”. It is not linked to a bank and offers offers from third parties. South Africans and foreign nationals can open transactional accounts, instantly generate virtual cards, make payments or purchases with those credentials, or request a physical debit card.

The account can be topped up by EFT payments, using the Ozow direct bank transfer option or a linked card. It supports buying airtime, prepaid electricity, paying bills, and buying digital vouchers. Users can also send money to each other instantly from their accounts, which could potentially be used to pay a domestic worker or gardener monthly. Once you have applied for a contactless debit card, it can be used in physical stores. Virtual and physical cards are issued by Mastercard.

The main differentiator with the Spot Money account is that it incurs no monthly fees and all in-app purchases and payments are free. It also supports other apps like Masterpass, Snapscan, Zapper and wiCode. Withdrawals and deposits over R1000 incur a small percentage.




The uKheshe app offers a wide range of services such as a digital wallet, the ability to pay or get paid via QR code instantly, Tap to Pay on Android devices, issuing cards (virtual and physical via Mastercard) and sending money across the border.

A user does not need a smartphone to create a digital wallet and can transact via USSD, otherwise Whatsapp chat banking and an app are available. It supports person-to-person or merchant-to-person payments, cross-border exchanges, crypto transfers, prepaid service or bill payment, and insurance payments. Top-up and withdrawal channels include EFT, retail, digital wallets, cash agents, card top-up and wallet-to-wallet.

When the service was first launched, it was positioned as a way to “pay it forward”, for tipping or paying car attendants when one has no cash, via a swipe quick QR code.

uKheshe has evolved into a low-cost solution for contactless payments with end-to-end encryption, KYC verification and value-added services, backed by secure Mastercard payments.




Mukuru is primarily a money transfer service that allows South Africans to send money to 17 countries in Africa, the UK, China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Other services include applying for a debit card, sending errands, and as a business payment platform.

Users can apply for a Mukuru card which will allow them to shop online, receive salary, save money, pay money transfers, withdraw or top up money. Users can also swipe it for free at retailers and can buy airtime or pay for DStv services. Money can be requested at checkouts in most supermarkets, Game, Makro and Builders for any amount between R3.70 and R19.99.

The Mukuru card can be collected at select Clicks branches and Mukuru agents nationwide. Its activation requires a deposit of R100. Unlike the other services mentioned, the card has a monthly fee of R27 and a one-time activation fee of R46. While scanning in stores, purchasing SA airtime, and receiving EFT are free, other transactions incur a nominal fee.

Users from South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe or Botswana can send groceries and stationery items to friends and family in Malawi and Zimbabwe, available for pickup at select locations retailers or remittance partners in these foreign markets.

Pay Telkom

Pay Telkom

Telkom Pay.

The Telkom Pay digital wallet is integrated with Whatsapp and allows South Africans with a mobile number to easily transact without having to interact in person. Users need a South African ID number to verify themselves during registration and do not need an existing bank account to use the wallet. Registration can also be done via USSD or via QR code.

The digital wallet allows users to generate a virtual card that can be used for payments, instead of having to use a physical debit or credit card. Accounts can be topped up via EFT, Nedbank ATMs or Pick and Pay. Money can also be sent and received between any SA mobile number, and the limit for this is capped at R3000 per day.

It also supports Scan-to-Pay with QR code, and similar to a please call me, users can send a “please pay me” via Whatsapp. The service also supports sending and receiving money between neighboring countries. Additional services include the purchase of vouchers for games, entertainment, education, transport, shopping or gifts.

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