South African firm Snapscan has added a new feature to its payments app whereby users can be detected by a Bluetooth-based beacon in a retail outlet, so speeding up the transaction process.
By enabling SnapBeacons in their profile settings and turning on Bluetooth, users can pay with a single tap of the new Pay Here button that will show up in selected retailers.
Previously users needed to open the app, tap on “Scan” and then scan a product code (a QR code, or square barcode) displayed in the shop or at the point of sale.
Bluetooth-based beacons are popular with retailers for beaming marketing material to shoppers. Using similar technology is less common for handling payments.
Initially the service has limited availability. The firm has struck deals so the new service can handle payments in about 40 locations, predominately in Cape Town although some are in Johannesburg.
SnapScan is available for iPhones, Android devices and most BlackBerry phones. Windows and feature phones are not currently supported. The actual payments come from Visa or MasterCard cards that users add to the app, rather than the firm setting up their own prepaid accounts for users.