With the unofficial launch of FNB’s new GeoPayment app yesterday, Mxit has hit back with a geo-fenced mobile payment application of their own.
The application is called Gust and a Beta version is expected to be ready in June. While Gust runs on iPhones for the mobile phone user, the merchant side runs on an iPad.
This is how it works: When two devices are close to each other the merchant can request a payment from the mobile phone user. Unlike other payment systems which use geo-fencing logic, Gust does not need a GPS device or even a GSM connection.
Rather, Gust simply uses wi-fi, your name and your photo to make a payment with devices on the same wifi network, discovering each other using that basic information. With all communication occurring over the wifi network, the payment process is very fast.
“The idea with the Gust project was to design a really quick and reliable mobile payment experience without NFC,” says Joe Botha, CEO of TrustFabric.
Gust started out as an experiment with geo-fenced payment experiences with a small team having built the Alpha version in just 6 weeks. The Mxit staff have been using a geo-fenced mobile payment system in Stellenbosch, currently the only place where it is available, since early April.
“Merchants and users have been giving us very positive feedback. The plan is to make Stellenbosch not only the first town to offer free wifi, but also the first town where you don’t need cash,” says Botha.
For more about Gust, watch the video below: