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Is Twitter delving into e-commerce?

Published by on Aug 7th, 2014, No Comments

Twitter e-commerce

By the looks of things, Twitter may be going beyond simply being a social network. Recent moves by the company strongly indicates that they are looking to add an e-commerce option to their line-up.

This past week, a couple of Twitter users reported seeing a new option in their Twitter settings menu. The ‘payments and shipping’ option appeared on the settings menu in Twitter’s Android app.

While the option was there, it was not yet functional. Users reported that they could not open or activate the function, but it didn’t seem to disappear either.

Could this be a foreshadowing of what Twitter is planning? Probably. Twitter regularly test new  features and functions on a select few users before a full scale roll out.

And this latest report isn’t the first indication that Twitter is seriously considering a move into e-commerce.  (more…)

Project Isizwe and Gumtree bring free Wi-Fi to South Africans

Published by on Aug 7th, 2014, No Comments

Project-Isizwe

Classifieds site Gumtree has partnered with Project Isizwe to bring free wi-fi to low-income communities across South Africa, starting with a large roll-out in the City of Tshwane. The initiative plans to create capacity to connect over 1 million people in the municipality by August 2014 via 219 “Free Internet Zones”, with even greater capacity planned for the 2015.

Project Isizwe is a non-profit organisation which aims to bring the internet to people across South Africa by facilitating the roll-out of Free Wi-Fi for public spaces in low income communities. Isizwe helps Governments plan, roll-out and maintain Free Wi-Fi networks and the non-profit structure allows for the pooling of bandwidth, the sourcing of local installers, and the co-operation with Governments without excessive mark-ups.

“As one of the biggest Internet sites in South Africa, the partnership was a natural strategic fit for Gumtree,” says Country Manager Johan Nel. “Our aim is not only to connect economically disadvantaged individuals to the Internet for the first time – we also have the larger goal of connecting those individuals  with opportunities such as 60,000 jobs registered on our site, or to gain free exposure for their own businesses by tapping into the platform and our user base.” (more…)

First Data acquires Gyft, founded by SA born entrepreneur

Published by on Jul 30th, 2014, No Comments

gyft

Payment technology solution provider First Data has acquired mobile gift card platform Gyft, which was founded by SA born Vinny Lingham. It offers a mobile app that lets consumers organize, shop for and send gift cards to others. The company first launched its service in 2012, with its then iOS-only mobile gift card “wallet,” which has since expanded cross-platform to Android and the web, while growing its service to include cards from over 200 retailers.

The deal has been in the works for a couple of months, and was valued at under $100 million. Check out the full press release below: (more…)

Is there a Facebook, Uber partnership looming?

Published by on Jul 25th, 2014, No Comments

Uber

If recent reports are to be believed then we might see a new, powerful partnership between Facebook and Uber in the near future.

According to a report by Re/code, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg,  reportedly had a meeting with Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick about a possible partnership between the two mega companies that would reap a lot of benefits for both.

Apparently, the two discussed the possibility of integration the Uber service into Facebook’s Messenger app. This would then essentially mean that you would be able to order an Uber while you are talking to your friends on Messenger.

We already know that Facebook is very interested in turning their messenger app into something more than just (another) messaging/communication tool. And it seems that they are looking into e-commerce to expand the horizons of Messenger. (more…)

New Chapter: Cape Town Entrepreneurs’ next step

Published by on Jul 24th, 2014, 1 Comment

Wayne-Gosling-and-Daniel-Guasco

After four years at the head of South Africa’s fast-growing eCommerce company, Cape Town entrepreneurs Wayne Gosling and Daniel Guasco have announced their departure from Groupon South Africa in search of new opportunities.

The pair first started Twangoo in June 2010 in a garage, sealing the deal to sell to Groupon USA in just 125 days and taking the company from strength to strength during their time as chief executives. In fact, now 1 in 3 e commerce transactions in South Africa take place on Groupon. (more…)

Ikhokha: Home-grown mobile card payment solution (video)

Published by on Jul 24th, 2014, No Comments

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Small businesses often don’t have the luxury of using the big banks’ card machines to further their business. More and more SME’s (small and medium enterprises) were finding it hard to compete as a result. That has started to change in the last couple of years, though.

Dozens of start-ups have sprung up around the globe to offer businesses the opportunity to move away from a cash only model without needing to invest an exorbitant amount of money. Now, another South African company is joining this very competitive market.

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Merchants pay a once-off cost of R989 for the Edge Chip & PIN card reader and thereafter a flat 2.75% per transaction, there are no hidden monthly fees. iKhokha offers a 24 month rental option for merchants looking to avoid an upfront cost. (more…)

Facebook to add “Buy” button to your newsfeed

Published by on Jul 21st, 2014, No Comments

Facebook-buy2Facebook will be taking “liking” to a whole new level by introducing the “Buy” button on their users’ news feeds. This particular function is set to make its debut on Thursday this week and will test the self control of many an online shopper.

Facebook has made several attempts at cracking into the ecommerce industry over the last couple of years. It tried the collections-feature (Pinterest-style) with buy buttons linking you to the site back in 2012. Last year Facebook introduced the Donate Button through which users could make on-site payments to charities. More recently they unveiled the auto-fill with Facebook feature that automatically enters your payment details when you’re making a purchase in a third-party ecommerce app. (more…)

MasterCard launches MasterPass in SA

Published by on Jul 16th, 2014, 2 Comments

MasterPass3Online shopping has become many a customer’s first choice of access when it comes to purchasing. Unfortunately due to security concerns and legislation it sometimes takes quite a while to get through the “Checkout” counter on any given website. The experience is sometimes similar to a day at the department of home affairs. To make this process not only super quick but also easy and secure MasterCard introduced MasterPass to the South African public yesterday.

According to the MasterCard press release: “MasterPass enables consumers to make convenient, simple, fast and secure digital payments. Digital wallets accessible through the MasterPass acceptance network allow consumers to store all their MasterCard or other branded credit, debit or cheque card information, and shipping and billing address details securely in one place. This gives them the ability to make secure online payments without the repeated hassle of entering these details each time.” (more…)

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