About 22 000 small traders and rural shops in South Africa will soon be equipped with credit card payment-enabled point of sale (POS) devices, opening up business for a predominantly cash-based market, Blue Label joint CEO Mark Levy said on Tuesday.
The JSE-listed communications group has partnered with Mastercard to upgrade about 7 000 existing POS systems, which were previously used for selling prepaid vouchers, such as for airtime and electricity, as well as to roll out in excess of 15 000 new EMV-certified, contactless-ready POS terminals in townships and informal settlements.
These would allow traders to accept chip and pin-based debit, cheque or credit cards issued by Standard Bank, Absa, Nedbank and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), as well as contactless payment cards for goods and services.
Traders would also be able to sell Blue Label's prepaid vouchers using a single device on a safer, more secure and convenient electronic platform.
This comes shortly after Blue Label committed to the distribution of about 10 000 partially subsidised low-cost POS terminals throughout South Africa’s rural areas over the next year.
The initiative would give merchants with monthly profits of less than R25 000, free or low-cost access to POS systems.
“Over and above the estimated 100 000 spaza shops spread across South Africa, there are tens of thousands of small- and medium-sized retailers and service providers,” said Levy.