Tag Archives: South Africa

pack n pay with bitcoin

Bitcoin Test: Pack n Pay with Bitcoin in South African 2nd Largest Supermarket

Bitcoin is surging in popularity in Africa. This digital payment system that allows users anywhere in the world to transact directly without interference from intermediaries, governments, regulators or central banks is being introduced to regular people in South Africa. This is evident as Pick n Pay, the second largest supermarket chain store in South Africa, is testing it as a payment option for a while.

The supermarket company which has spread to other regions of southern Africa, such as Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Namibia as well as Mauritius is making efforts to be ahead of its competitions in the adaptation of this new technology. Jason Peisl, an executive at Pick n Pay, explains,

“At Pick n Pay one of our key values is to embrace change and encourage innovation and leadership. To deliver on that promise we are constantly working with our technology partners to find ways in which we can deliver valuable, innovative services to our customers. Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are still relatively new payment concepts, yet we have been able to effectively demonstrate how we are able to accept such alternative payments.“

According to the announcement made by Electrum, the South African tech company providing the cloud-based enterprise used for the transactions, this payment method is a potential world first for a major grocery retail store. Electrum MD Dave Glass says,

“We’ve worked closely with PnP for several years as a key technology provider. Our mission is to support innovative enterprises like Pick n Pay, and together we use the advanced Electrum software-as-a-service technology to move quickly on new opportunities, whilst at the same time delivering the best possible shopping experience“.

While Electrum provided the cloud-based enterprise, the Bitcoin infrastructure for the project was provided by Luno, a global Bitcoin company, active in Southeast Asia and Africa. Luno has an office in South Africa, this enables South African consumers to easily buy, sell, send and spend Bitcoin.

How do you pay with bitcoin?

According to a video demonstrating paying for goods at Pick n Pay using Bitcoin, the process is simple. First , you are required to have a bitcoin wallet app on your mobile phone. After shopping, you move to the checkout point, where the cashier will scan the products you picked and then select your payment method as Bitcoin and then print out a QR code. You will then open up your mobile Bitcoin wallet app, select the scan option and point your device camera to the QR code to scan it. After scanning the QR code, you’ll be shown the amount of Bitcoin that you will spend in the transaction on your phone screen and if you’re satisfied you simply click “Pay”.

How does the QR code work?

A QR Code

A QR Code

The interaction between your bitcoin account and that of Pick n Pay happens on the infrastructure provided by Luno. when the cashier selects Bitcoin as the payment method, the system talks to Luno for it to get the QR code. The QR code is just like the bank account number for the shop so instead of them telling you the number, a QR code is generated and you can just scan that to get the details of the amount to be paid and where it’ll be going.

QR codes are commonly used in the field of cryptographic currencies, particularly those based on and including Bitcoin. Payment addresses, cryptographic keys and transaction information are often shared between digital wallets in this way.

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South African Startup looking to disrupt workplace collaboration market in Africa

Connect-2-Me (C2Me) is a South African start-up founded in 2016 by Gary Swale, Ray Hayes, Eugene Theron and Lloyd Thompson – who were the previous owners of Knowledge Dimension, a company now own by IBM.

According to Gary Swale, the startup is a cloud-based business collaboration platform setup to removes barriers in work-space so that members of the workforce are engaged, empowered and in the process helping to transform the business.

“It creates an ecosystem that enables organisations to deliver meaningful and compelling value to people in and outside the organisation, through addressing gaps in communication, supporting responsiveness and driving innovation,”

“Many businesses continue to operate in silos, which compounds existing barriers to communication. Add to this, the disconnect in organisations between employees who are ‘online’ and those who aren’t, and an even larger rift in communication, productivity and efficiency is caused.”

Read: What is Cloud Computing?

“We are at a stage where we have proven the concept, both in terms of technology and customer acceptance, and would be open to holding discussions with parties who could assist with developing and growing the business from both a funding perspective as well as being able to open doors in terms of access to markets and customers,” says Gary.

Gary believes this could be an opportunity to create another South African success story.

The C2Me was developed in, and hosted in, IBM Bluemix, a cloud platform for developers to build and run modern apps and services. Hamilton Ratshefola, country GM for IBM SA, says Bluemix enables developers to launch quickly, iterate continuously and scale with success. he added that C2Me is a business partner to IBM and has a viable business model.

“However, before we brought them onto our Enterprise Development Programme, they did not have adequately skilled staff to enable them to scale up their business and elicit big deals,” Ratshefola points out.

Garry adds “We have successfully integrated selected IBM Watson services into the C2Me platform. So this is a South African world-class solution using state-of-the-art technologies.”

Watson is IBM’s artificially intelligent computer system is capable of answering questions posed in natural language. Watson wowed Tv viewers by beating the two best human contestants of a game in the Jeopardy show.

Read: Watson’s Sister Lucy is Growing Up With the Help of IBM’s Research Team

Source: ITWeb

Facebook Reaches 16 Million Users in South Africa

Facebook has passed 16 million users in South Africa, according to regional director for Facebook Africa, Nunu Ntshingila.

Speaking to the SABC, Ntshingila said that the Facebook Africa branch was currently focused on a number of areas including new policies and products, as well as “looking after” a number of businesses in South Africa that make use of the platform “At the end of the day, this office is the centre of innovation,” she said.

“We always have our clients, businesses, and community owners here just to sit down with them and make sure that we are responding to some important issues – and we are learning from them.”

The 16 million represents a major increase – over 4 million more users since the 12 million recorded in September 2016 according to a  WorldWideWorx report.

The report highlighted that while Facebook’s numbers continued to grow, the platform was also seeing increasing engagement. Over the course of 2016, the average number of likes per post grew from 80 to 108.

The average number of comments per post increased from 10 to 12, and, on average, posts are also shared more – growing from 6 to 11 shares per post.

Originally published in BusinessTech