It’s thumbs up for Thumbzup

Stafford Masie founder of Thumbzup 300x168 Its thumbs up for Thumbzup

Stafford Masie founder of Thumbzup and creator of the world’s-first mobile payment device, the Payment Pebble.

A recently-launched partnership between Thumbzup Innovation founder Stafford Masie and one of South Africa’s leading banks offers small business owners cutting-edge technology for receiving mobile payments from customers.

Hailed as a world-first, Masie’s digital payment application Payment Pebble is a mobile payment system which he initially launched last year.

The application allows merchants to enjoy the use of an on-the-go payment system that accepts payments via debit or credit cards, using a small card reader plugged into tablet or smartphone. The card-reader, known as Payment Pebble, plugs into the audio socket on a tablet or smartphone.

Recently, Absa Bank introduced the application by making it available to its small business owner and merchant clients.

When paying for a product or service, a customer simply swipes their debit or credit card through the device and enters their pin-code. A receipt is then e-mailed or SMSed to the purchaser immediately thereafter.

Speaking at the Rosebank launch of the payment product, Masie described Payment Pebble’s convenience as a milestone and said he hopes to introduce it to a global customer base in the near future.

Whether trading from a supermarket, spaza shop or road-side stall, business owners who prefer not exchanging cash can opt to use the system to make electronic transactions instead.

Masie says he favoured a partnership with Absa as the bank shares a similar vision with him for the product.

“We are extremely excited about our partnership with Absa,” says Masie.

“This is the success story of a local company achieving extraordinary things globally, and Absa made this happen.”

Masie says he first started working on the device four years ago with the goal to create convenience.

“Luckily for me that’s accompanied by profit-making but that’s never the leading reason why I create digital apps and devices. I’ve had people coming up to me and emotionally thanking me for making the product.

They’re very pleased with its convenience and that it runs completely on low electric power,” says Masie commenting on the success of the device.

Absa’s head of retail markets Arrie Rautenbach, says the advantage of the service lies in the improvement in the technology used to enhance safe payment processes, as it is designed to suit both chip and magnetic swipe strip cards.

As the Payment Pebble does not use complex synchronisation or a power supply, business owners have full use of the service as long as the tablet or smartphone used is powered and operational.

The device is accompanied by a downloadable app and, once registered, users can begin accepting payments anywhere in the country.

In April an agreement between Masie’s Centurion-based Thumbzup Innovations and Absa saw the introduction of the payment solution to the local business market.

Rautenbach says there is currently no other mobile payment system that can compare to the technology, deeming it a “world-first”.

“It is a game-changing innovation with the potential to transform the way in which entrepreneurs can access off-site payments,” he says.

He adds that the Payment Pebble helps the bank in its goal to eliminate paper processes and saves customers time through added convenience.

Registration takes a few minutes through an instant account-opening process, managed by Absa consultants, that can be done from anywhere through a mobile device.

Masie says he looks forward to expanding the Payment Pebble’s reach into international business markets.

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