Cape Town-based cryptocurrency and NFT startup Momint has integrated cash voucher purchases into its blockchain wallet, allowing users to spend their cryptocurrency at over 10,000 retailers across South Africa.
Initially launched as an NFT marketplace, outspoken businessman Rob Hersov was an early backer of the platform.
According to Biznews, Hersov invested $50,000 in Momint in 2021 as part of the company’s startup costs.
Then-COO at Momint, Josh Minsk described Hersov as the company’s “go-to guy”.
Momint joins the likes of CryptoConvert’s CryptoQR platform, which rolled out cryptocurrency payments to 1,500 Pick n Pay stores in February.
However, the CryptoQR platform allows users to spend Bitcoin directly by scanning a QR code.
The Momint app lets users purchase vouchers with their crypto through Bitrefill, a service we’ve previously tested.
Among the retailers whose vouchers are available on Bitrefill are Checkers, Woolworths, Engen, and Takealot.
Users can also spend their cryptocurrency at restaurants, and with Lift Airlines and Intercape to cover transportation fees. It also enables transactions at 5,000 international retailers.
Bitrefill also supports 1Voucher, which Momint said lets customers spend their crypto at over 10,000 small businesses and spaza shops in South Africa.
“There’s a number of partners that have come into play to make something like this possible. In this case, 1Voucher is a core partner,” Momint CEO Ahren Posthumus told eNCA.
“Using 1Voucher, you spend your crypto to get the voucher, and you can spend the voucher at any of those retailers that accept 1Voucher.”
He added that the vouchers can be purchased using Ethereum or USDC.
Once a user has purchased a voucher, they can use the unique 16-digit pin provided to make payments.
Retailers supported through Bitrefill and/or 1Voucher include:
- Pick n Pay
- Total Energies
- Incredible Connection
- Sportsman’s Warehouse
- Cape Union Mart
- Old Khaki
- Mr D Foods
- Uber Eats
- Cell C
It should be noted that Momint isn’t a cryptocurrency exchange, but its in-app wallet is integrated with Transak and BankX external exchanges.
This means users can top-up their cryptocurrency from within the Momint app.
The Momint wallet can also be used to transfer funds internationally, and the company claims this is possible at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.
“Using blockchain technology, sending money across borders, as long as you’re doing it within legal frameworks, is incredibly cheap,” said Posthumus.
“It can cost as little as one dollar cent to send money, no matter what the amount is, across borders.”
Pick n Pay’s Bitcoin payments
In February 2023, CryptoConvert announced that it had made its CryptoQR platform available at all Pick n Pay stores across South Africa.
The rollout enabled Bitcoin payments at more than 1,500 stores, including PnP Express and Pick n Pay Clothing, using the Lightning network.
Shoppers can also buy airtime, electricity, flight and bus tickets, and pay municipal bills with Bitcoin at the till.
The rollout came after Pick n Pay expanded its Bitcoin payments trial — for which it partnered with CryptoConvert and Electrum — to 39 stores in November 2022.
Electrum’s payment platform connects CryptoConvert and Pick n Pay, letting customers pay with the Bitcoin Lightning technology at the till point.
“While for many years crypto was something for specialists on their computers, or used by early adopters trying it out, things are changing,” Pick n Pay stated.
“Increasingly, cryptocurrency is being used by those under-served by traditional banking systems, or by those wanting to pay and exchange money in a cheaper and really convenient way.”