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Shoprite offers contactless QR payments

The Shoprite Group’s customers can now pay for groceries with their phones as the retailer continues to find new ways to keep its stores, customers and employees safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is the first South African food retailer to offer dynamic QR payments which will be available at the tills in all Shoprite, Usave, Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores within the next two months. Customers simply have to scan the QR code at the till point with their phones and pay with Masterpass, SnapScan, Zapper, FNB Pay or Nedbank Pay in any of the Group’s stores.

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As the retailer uses a dynamic QR code, the amount payable will automatically display on the customer’s phone, leaving little room for error. 

This development, in line with the Group’s strategic commitment to put its customers first and make shopping more convenient for them, allows customers to shop even if they forgot their wallet at home or would prefer not to carry cash or touch the pin pad.

Making QR payments available in stores and on its websites is also in line with the Group’s strategic focus on developing future-fit channels as it continues to roll out new innovations.

Jean Olivier, the general manager for financial services for the Shoprite Group, says, "As retailers, we must meet the challenge of the new shopping environment to deliver outstanding product research and buying experiences. Rolling this payment method out enhances our customers’ shopping experience with more options and greater convenience."

The QR code was built on the EMVCo standard with the help of Mastercard and one of the Group’s technology partners, Electrum.

It is currently available in 29 Checkers stores and will be rolled out to all stores across South Africa within the next two months. The rest of the continent will follow as soon as possible. 

Coca-Cola launches Ikageng Employee Share Trust 

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has launched its landmark Ikageng Employee Share Trust that will offer its employees shares and direct economic participation in the business.

Ikageng will benefit nearly 8 000 South African-based employees at CCBSA, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) and Appletiser. Every employee will receive an equal allocation of shares through the established Ikageng Trust regardless of staff level, race or years of service.

“We remain committed to the ideal of transformation and B-BBEE, and this investment is driven by the recognition that employees are our biggest asset, as they enable innovation, growth and the sustainable development of our company,” says Velaphi Ratshefola, managing director of CCBSA. “As part of our mission to create shared opportunity and value throughout our business, we want employees to have a vested interest in delivering an enhanced value while influencing and directly participating in the company’s long-term vision of sustained profitability.”

Ikageng means "let us build ourselves", a Setswana name chosen by one of the employees. It is a name that was generated internally through a staff campaign, which reaffirms that employees own more than just a share, but the spirit and identity of the company they work for.

“Since inception in May 2016, CCBSA took a bold step to contribute meaningfully to the country’s ideal to be an inclusive and transformed organisation. We committed ourselves to becoming a level 2 contributor by 2021 and set off on our journey to achieve this,” Ratshefola continues.

The Ikageng Trust holds a shareholding in Coca-Cola Fortune, which in turn owns 100% of CCBSA. The equity ownership is substantially higher than the 3% required by the B-BBEE Codes.

The Trust is fully funded through notional vendor funding (NVF), with a portion of the dividends reducing the NVF and a portion paid to beneficiaries. This allows for the NVF amount to be settled and the transfer of a higher net value to beneficiaries in the long-term while allowing beneficiaries to also receive benefits from the outset.

Ikageng beneficiaries receive dividends from day one. Employees will never be required to outlay any cash of their own at any time. In this way, CCBSA can provide its employees access to equity participation that encourages a mutual objective of ensuring the long-term success for both the company and its employees.

The drafting of the Trust documents, which govern the activities of the Trust, was a consultative process, involving unions, the company and regulators. The board of eight trustees is made up of four beneficiary-appointed trustees, three company-appointed trustees and an independent trustee. As such, the Trust has been formed with robust mechanisms to ensure that beneficiary interests are put above all other considerations.

“Our transformation strategy includes bold initiatives in supplier inclusion and transformation and increasing our black ownership level,” adds Ratshefola. “It is in this spirit that we have established The Ikageng Employee Share Trust to extend the ownership opportunity to our employees. We have always maintained that we see the merger conditions set out by the competition authorities as an opportunity to impact our society meaningfully and we have always embraced and aimed at not only meeting them but exceeding them. I am humbled and proud of what we have been able to achieve on our transformation journey so far, and Ikageng is certainly the highlight for us.”

Yoco launches online payment solutions to support small business through the pandemic

Yoco, a financial platform for small business, announced that it has launched a suite of online payment solutions for merchants to sustain their cash flow during and beyond lockdown. Known for in-person payments, enabling online payments marks a step-change for the company and its customers.

“Yoco’s mission has always centred around helping small businesses thrive and supporting them is more important now than ever before. The national lockdown has had a severe impact on our merchants. Through our platform and the results of a recent merchant survey, we have seen up to a 90% decrease in in-person transactions since the lockdown began. We knew that the best way to support our merchants was to develop products that would enable them to do business online and keep money coming in through this period,” says co-founder and CEO Katlego Maphai.

The Yoco team has developed three new payment solutions: Payment Page, Gift Vouchers, and Payment Request. All three are purpose-built for small businesses to do business online in different ways, simply and securely.

The announcement comes on the back of another Yoco milestone: reaching a customer base of 80 000 small businesses. “Our growing volume of merchants puts into perspective the number of people who rely on us to help them do business,” commented Lungisa Matshoba, co-founder and CTO. “This inspired the team to drive our online payments project forward. We have been developing these solutions for a few months; however, with the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, we knew that we needed to get them into our merchants’ hands as quickly as possible.”

“It is clear from the latest briefing by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and Dr Salim Abdool Karim that both business and life have been fundamentally altered, and that social distancing is here to stay for some time to come. Therefore, Covid-19 has made contactless and online payments a priority for all of our merchants, no matter which industry they find themselves in. Supporting merchants through this process of adaptation and innovation is a part of our mission,” concluded Maphai.

The Yoco online payment suite enables merchants to securely accept online payments, as well as easily track and reconcile all invoices and payments whether in-person or online. Each solution is designed with specific use cases in mind.

Payment Page enables merchants to receive card payments through a personalized online page, removing the friction of EFTs and creating a seamless experience for customers. Gift Vouchers allow customers to support their local small businesses cash flow needs now and redeem the vouchers for products or services once the lockdown is lifted. Lastly, Payment Request gives merchants who are still trading the ability to request and accept online card payments for sales, conveniently tracked within their sales history. The Online Payment suite is available on the Yoco app from now to all Yoco customers.

To further support small businesses, Yoco is also launching a small business directory at Owners are encouraged to register on the directory to make their businesses discoverable by consumers across South Africa.