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Small merchants now take MasterPass via phones

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Shoppers can now use MasterPass, the digital commerce platform from MasterCard, to pay for in-store or face-to-face purchases at over 2,000 iKhokha retailers and service providers in South Africa using their smartphones or tablets.|Shoppers can now use MasterPass, the digital commerce platform from MasterCard, to pay for in-store or face-to-face purchases at over 2,000 iKhokha retailers and service providers in South Africa using their smartphones or tablets.

This follows a collaboration announced by MasterCard and mobile commerce provider, iKhokha, which sees MasterPass’ digital checkout services integrated into iKhokha’s mobile payment application used by a wide range of small, medium and mobile enterprises including hair and beauty salons, tourism businesses, health care practitioners, and professionals like lawyers.

“MasterPass is a major step forward in the evolution of payments. As the way we shop changes, the way we tap, click and make a payment needs to evolve to best fit our needs and lifestyles wherever we are and from whichever connected device we choose,” says Ann Cairns, President for International Markets, MasterCard.

“Our association with iKhokha extends MasterPass’ acceptance beyond online stores into the physical retail world, enabling South Africans to make fast, seamless and secure digital payments online, in-app and now in-store too using any connected device.”

Since its launch in South Africa in July 2014, MasterPass has grown its acceptance network, with consumers able to pay using the digital wallet at more than 370 South African merchants including Takealot.com, Flysaa.com (South African Airways), Le Creuset, Flymango.com (Mango Airlines) and www.netflorist.co.za as well as over 250,000 merchants internationally.

“This positive uptake by merchants and consumers is indicative that digital payments are growing in popularity,” says Cairns. “And today, we are excited to offer MasterPass users even more places to pay digitally at iKhokha retailers and service providers.”

When shoppers choose to pay iKhokha retailers using MasterPass, they simply open the MasterPass app on their mobile device, and scan the unique QR code that is generated on the iKhokha retailer’s smart device. After shoppers enter their bank PIN number or 3DSecure code and CVV/CVC number on their own device, the transaction is complete.

Unlike other similar solutions, each MasterPass transaction is classified as an Authenticated Mobile Transaction by South African banks, ensuring that consumers enjoy the highest protection from fraudsters. Anyone can use the Standard Bank and Nedbank MasterPass apps – even non-Standard Bank and non-Nedbank cardholders. MasterPass also accepts selected PIN-based debit cards such as Maestro, enabling millions of South Africans to make omni-channel payments.

For merchants, MasterPass provides a secure, quick and easy way to checkout their customers, which can lead to increased spending and more frequent purchases. It also opens new business opportunities and enables merchants to potentially increase their sales to consumers in 28 other countries where MasterPass is available including Australia, Canada, China, United Kingdom and the United States.

“What excites us is that through our collaboration with MasterCard and MasterPass we are helping our merchants walk the journey from cash to card to digital acceptance. If a customer wants to pay with it, our iKhokha merchants need to be able to accept it, and we need to make that process frictionless for both parties. Providing Small and Medium Enterprises with cash recording capabilities, as well as digital and physical card payment acceptance, in one mobile app is to our knowledge an African first,” says Matt Putman, managing director at iKhokha.

One such retailer is Ruth Mafupa, owner of Natural Moisture, a natural hair and beauty enterprise that manufactures products and then sells them wholesale to salons and directly to consumers online and from her store in Johannesburg. She accepts card payments on an iKhokha mobile point of sale device connected to her smart phone, as well as online and now in-store digital MasterPass payments using the iKhokha app.

“Many of my customers spend more with me now that they can swipe their cards on my iKhokha device. They aren’t restricted to the cash in their purses, which is extremely unsafe to carry,” says Mafupa. “Of course, they all have cell phones and although they sometimes leave their purses at home, they are never without their phones. For this reason, I’ve also started asking my customers to download the MasterPass app to encourage additional digital payment behaviour.”

The MasterPass app and iKhokha merchant app are both available from the iTunes and Google Play stores.

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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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You can blame Oxford Dictionaries for making the “selfie” respectable. After all, being named Word of the Year, as it was in 2013, does tend to soften some of the self-consciousness in this most self-conscious of actions.

Once seen as a symbol of narcissism and self-obsession, it is now the new normal, to the extent that most smartphones are sold on the basis of the front camera. Or, as that feature is now almost universally named by manufacturers, the “selfie camera”.

I was one of the hold-outs, having a near-allergy to the selfie. I still resist, but succumb more often than I would like. The reason for continued resistance is that it remains a big leap from the word becoming respectable to the action itself shedding its narcissistic image. 

For most, it’s already happened, and for that you can blame Ellen DeGeneres. She  choreographed the most famous group selfie yet at the 2014 Oscars, when she roped a bunch of actors into a group selfie, using the then-new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Her tweet of the photo became what was then the most retweeted posting ever on Twitter, and was estimated to have been worth a million dollars in marketing value to Samsung.

Ironically, it was Samsung’s up-and-coming challenger, Huawei, that came up with a new word for this type of selfie: the “groufie”. Thanks to an 8 Megapixel front camera on the new Huawei Ascend P7 camera that year which took the highest quality selfies – and groufies – possible on a smartphone at the time.

It didn’t end there, and selfies and groufies have morphed into variations like selfscapes (selfie in a landscape), skyfies (selfies from the air, using remote controlled devices) and jerkies (selfies to make an idiot out of yourself). I invented all of those on the fly, so it’s easy to imagine a new word emerging for every type of selfie.

Continue reading about selfie improvements through the years.

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Mickey’s 90th for SA

Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

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As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

o   Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October

o   Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November

o   Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag#Mickey90Africa.

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