The OBC Savings Club Card was launched in August 2018. That’s after the OBC Group had entered into an agreement with V-Switch, a South African-owned technology company that offers multi-dimensional e-wallet systems. Extensive testing at company-owned stores followed. It revealed that not only does V-Switch deliver flawless performance but, better still, our customers embraced this new offering with open arms.

On conclusion of the testing phase, the programme was made accessible to franchisees. Participation was – and remains – voluntary but feedback received from those who signed up is overwhelmingly positive. So, what is the purpose of the OBC Savings Club, how does V-Switch work and why should all OBC franchisees introduce it?

About the OBC Savings Club
To remain competitive, retailers are practically forced to offer lay-byes as an option and OBC stores are no exception. In the past, lay-byes had to be administered manually, a cumbersome, time-consuming and potentially
error-prone task. Digitising the process makes easy work of it, and that’s where the OBC Savings Club comes into the picture. It is a platform for the administration of the OBC Saving Club Card.

Membership to the OBC Savings Club is free and everyone is welcome to join. Applications for membership are processed through participating OBC stores. In keeping with FICA regulations, applicants need to provide
a bar-coded ID but beyond that, the process is quick, easy, free of red tape and usually completed within minutes. Following successful enrolment, members are allocated a gift card account and receive a pin-protected OBC Saving Club Card. This card can be used to deposit money into the account, enabling members, including stokvels, to build up sizeable deposits over time. They can use their savings to pay for purchases at participating OBC stores throughout South Africa. Cards are not transferable and no cash withdrawals can be made.

Over the past few months, the OBC Savings Club has rapidly gained popularity with customers. The primary reason for this is that this account makes it easy and hassle-free for individuals and stokvels to save up for bigger
purchases. The card balance does not earn interest but members earn incentives. These change from time to time but as a cardinal rule, the larger the deposit balance in the savings account the higher the reward will be! At the moment, the top reward is a shopping voucher valued at a whopping R600.00. It is awarded to club members on their accounts reaching R12,000.00. To get an idea of all the rewards on offer go to www.obcgroup.co.za.

Other salient details
• As its name suggests, the OBC Savings Club Card is not a credit card but is linked to a gift card account. It can be used to pay for purchases at participating OBC stores.
• The card can only be used by its rightful owner but the option to purchase gift vouchers for others exists. This works as follows:
Step 1: The cardholder enters the intended recipient’s cell phone number and the value of
the gift voucher into the V Switch device.
Step 2: The recipient automatically receives a PIN-based voucher that can be used for
purchases at any participating OBC store.
Step 3: The value of the gift voucher can be redeemed at one transaction or can be
spread over several purchases. It is even possible to pay for a transaction partly with the gift voucher and make up the balance with other payment options.

About V-Switch
Once signed up as members, customers are able to deposit money into their account and spend it at any participating OBC store. The device is securely linked to a centralised system that manages the entire
programme. For security reasons, the device itself and all transactions are monitored 24/7 and no transactional, card or customer data are stored on it. It is also noteworthy that the system complies fully with relevant
international standards.

Why should all franchisees participate?
In a word, because it makes sense. In our experience, the programme:
• Meets the needs of existing customers;
• Attracts new customers to the stores;
• Tends to increase transaction values*
• Demonstrates that OBC stores are in tune with digital developments.

This is because most people find it easier to spend digital money than to part with cash. For all these reasons, the OBC Marketing Department is promoting the programme aggressively as the following examples illustrate.