Mobile Payments Evolve in South Africa With Beacon-Based Payments

Mobile payments technology is evolving at a faster pace with the introduction of payment apps, wallets in smartphones backed by NFC and other technologies. Developers and innovators are trying different ways to make payments frictionless and core banks are joining hands with technology providers to bring good payment experiences. One such development in Africa is the Bluetooth beacon-based payment technology introduced by SnapScan.

South African mobile payments company SnapScan—which specializes in QR code scanning—has rolled out a Bluetooth beacon-based in-store mobile payments system at more than 40 merchant spaces in CapeTown and Johannesburg.

Co-founder of SnapScan Kobus Ehlers stated in a press release, We’ve always set out to make payments faster and simpler. With beacon technology opening up new possibilities in the mobile payments space, we were keen to stay at the forefront of these developments in the industry.

The SnapBeacon feature sends a Pay Here button to the customer’s phone when they are in proximity of the store’s beacon after which customers can simply tap the icon on their smartphones to initiate payments through Bluetooth. The payment channel will be available to the customer only if it is initiated by the customer. The SnapBeacon feature will be compatible with the iPhone 4S version and above, and smartphones running Android 4.3 and above.

SnapScan’s QR Code Scanning:

Apart from beacon-based payments, the Standard Bank-backed company specializes in QR code scanning which allows customers to pay with their smartphones through a combination of a QR code and a secure PIN. Each SnapScan-connected store will have a unique code that will be linked to the customer’s bank account. When customers want to pay, they can scan the code with their SnapScan smartphone app which then displays the store where they are making the purchase. The transaction will be complete with SnapScan charging the customer's debit or credit card as normal card payment.