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Masterpass now connects to 30 000 SnapScan merchants

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South Africans can now use Masterpass, a global digital payment service by Mastercard, to pay for goods and services at over 30 000 SnapScan merchants in South Africa using their smartphones.

This follows a collaboration announced today by Mastercard and SnapScan, a mobile payments solution backed by Standard Bank, at the Mastercard Digital Indaba in Cape Town.

Consumers can download the MasterPass app from their app store, register, and load their credit, debit or cheque cards from any bank into the digital wallet. To pay, Masterpass users simply need to scan a QR code, or SnapCode, displayed at point of sale or online at a wide range of SnapScan merchants including coffee shops, professionals like doctors and market vendors. They then enter the payment amount into their Masterpass app and confirm the transaction with their ATM pin code or a one-time pin code sent to their mobile phones.

Each Masterpass transaction is classified as an Authenticated Mobile Transaction by South African banks, ensuring that consumers enjoy the highest protection from fraudsters.

“With Masterpass, we’re enabling consumers to make secure and simple everyday payments wherever they are and from any connected device, without needing to physically carry their bank cards with them,” says Mark Elliott, Division President, Mastercard, South Africa.  “Thanks to our collaboration with SnapScan, we are pleased to offer consumers even more places to pay using Masterpass, which is now the most widely accepted digital wallet in South Africa.”

Since its launch in 2013, SnapScan has grown its acceptance exponentially, especially among small businesses that traditionally did not have access to traditional Point of Sale devices and relied on cash payments. It makes accepting digital card payments cheap and easy, with merchants simply needing to display a QR code at the till, online or on a bill.

“Given SnapScan’s extensive acceptance footprint, the ability to offer merchants a single QR code which will accept payment from multiple mobile wallet solutions such as Masterpass is the driving force behind creating interoperability,” says Lincoln Mali, Head of Group Card and Payments at Standard Bank. “We believe that interoperability between digital payments platforms is one of the keys to driving digital payments usage and acceptance in South Africa.”

The integration of Masterpass with SnapScan delivers benefits for the entire payments ecosystem including consumers, banks and merchants. Consumers can continue to use Masterpass, while gaining access to thousands of SnapScan merchants for a secure and simplified checkout experience. For the banks who already have Masterpass apps, they will now be able to offer expanded acceptance via SnapScan to their customers. Merchants now have an opportunity to reach even more consumers currently using Masterpass– without additional development work.

“Mastercard is working to ensure that every one of our accounts is as digital as the people using them. Enabling Masterpass users to shop at SnapScan merchants is the latest example of how we can deliver rich, innovative, compelling and secure ways to pay and get paid across all channels and devices, redefining commerce,” says Elliott.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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