SnapScan Bluetooth beacon technology launched

South African mobile payment app SnapScan now allows customers to pay at merchants via Bluetooth instead of scanning a code.

“We are excited to announce the release of SnapBeacon payments,” said Kobus Ehlers, co-founder of the Cape Town-based startup, launched as a collaboration between FireID and Standard Bank in 2014.

SnapScan enables consumers to pay for their purchases with their smartphones through a combination of a QR code and a secure PIN.

Standard Bank said in October that the mobile payment app had signed up over 12,000 small businesses since its launch in May 2014.

“We’ve always set out to make payments faster and simpler. With beacon technology opening up new possibilities in the mobile payments space, we were keen to stay at the forefront of these developments in the industry,” Ehlers said.

The new functionality, already available at more than 40 SnapScan merchants in the Cape Town CBD and Johannesburg, uses beacons to detect where users are, for example, enjoying their lunch or cup of coffee.

This means customers won’t have to scan the usual SnapCode to pay, but will simply click “Pay here” in the app to initiate the transaction.

This is the latest in a series of payment innovations released recently, ranging from fingerprint payments (TouchID on Apple iPhone) to email receipts.

Payments are only available on compatible iPhone and Android devices at selected merchants.

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SnapScan Bluetooth beacon technology launched