New programme lets you earn cash with your smartphone

2014-08-01 11:04 - Duncan Alfreds, Fin24
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A new application may help people earn extra cash. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Cape Town - Your smartphone has cost you money, but perhaps it could also earn you cold hard cash. A new but micro-jobbing platform may be the trick to earn some extra funds.

An online service aims to link job seekers and employers in a novel programme that utilises crowd sourcing to help people earn money with their smartphones.

Dubbed M4JAM (Money for Jam), the project will launch in South Africa on 11 August on the WeChat instant messenger service.

"M4JAM breaks large projects into small tasks, empowering many geographically dispersed people to quickly and independently complete the tasks using their phones in exchange for payment", said Andre Hugo, CEO of M4JAM.

No-one is expecting that users of the programme, particularly those employed, will become super rich, but it can potentially reduce the cost that organisations spend for jobs that are somewhat removed from their core business.

WeChat market share

For example, a company in Johannesburg might need to verify the address of a property in the coastal resort town of Hermanus. It can task someone living in the area to go to the address, snap a picture on a smartphone and send it.

Or a wholesaler might need someone to pop into a grocery store to verify products and price on the shelf.

As smartphones continue to grow in SA, it is likely that more people will have access to the technology to participate on platforms that have the potential to boost the South African economy.

People who join the M4JAM project have to ensure that they have at least 10 minutes to do jobs and price reductions of smart devices should see an acceleration in mobile commerce opportunities.


Companies can easily use M4JAM to verify products on the shelf in retail stores. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Businesses who participate will have to ensure that large jobs can be broken up into smaller, digestible elements and, at the same time ensure that company intellectual property is not compromised.

The project may also help propel WeChat's market share in SA. The company boasts about 300 million users mainly in China but the critical difference is that WeChat users generate more cash that Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

According to Nomura International based in Hong Kong, WeChat users are worth about $7 each in terms of revenue to the company, compared to WhatsApp users which contribute around $1.

Hugo insists that the M4JAM programme lends itself to the crowd sourcing model on WeChat.

"The WeChat format also lends itself to gamification elements, referrals and the sharing of additional rewards and discounts."

News24 is part of 24.com, a subsidiary of Media24, which is in the Naspers stable. WeChat SA is a subsidiary of Naspers.


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