Mastercard brings mobile payments to SA’s spaza shops

Mastercard has partnered with Durban-based tech group Spazapp, to bring mobile payments to South Africa’s informal traders.

The informal retail sector boasts approximately R46 billion in annual sales a year, with more than nine million households regularly shopping at these stores.

“While these shops represent the economic backbone of many local communities, their true potential remains untapped as they do not have the tools necessary to accept electronic payments and run their businesses effectively,” Mastercard said.

Partnering with Durban company, Mastercard has integrated its digital global payment service Masterpass into Spazapp, which is a free, money-saving android app that connects a community of informal traders directly to big fast-moving consumer goods brands including Unilever and Tiger Brands.

Using Spazapp, traders can order a wide variety of products – which they would be otherwise be unable to access – and use Masterpass to digitally pay for stock and accept cashless payments from their customers with their mobile phones.

“By digitizing the entire value chain, the 4,500 micro-businesses already using Spazapp’s buying app can generate significant savings on stock procurement. Traders no longer need to close their stores to buy stock, miss out on bulk buying savings because of cashflow constraints or have to worry about the security risks and high costs of cash,” Mastercard said.

For spaza owners, Masterpass provides a more affordable alternative to traditional Point of Sale devices, allowing them to offer a convenient digital payment option to their customers – the majority of whom are banked and are ready to use mobile payments.

How it works

Spaza customers can download Masterpass from the iOS or Android app store, register, and load their credit, debit or cheque cards from any bank into the digital wallet.

To pay for their goods, they  open the Masterpass app on their mobile device, and scan the unique QR code that is generated on the Spazapp retailer’s smartphone.

After shoppers enter their bank PIN number or 3DSecure code and CVV/CVC number on their own device, the transaction is complete.

Similarly, spaza shop owners use their Masterpass app to scan a QR code printed on the supplier’s invoice, to pay for their stock on delivery at their store.

Payment card information – including card details from Mastercard and other payment networks – is only captured once eliminating the hassle of repeatedly entering these details each time they want to pay their bill.


Read: How much money South Africa’s hawkers and spaza shop owners earn

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