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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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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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