More merchants join Zapper contactless payment community

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 15 Jun 2020

Quick response (QR) code payment platform Zapper says it has seen significant growth in the number of merchants signing up to offer customers contactless payments, since the introduction of the lockdown period.

Established in 2014 by the Zap Group, the fintech company provides seamless payments, vouchering and loyalty services to a variety of businesses from across the retail, hospitality, bills, donations, fuel and convenience, and e-commerce sectors.

The company allows merchants to receive payments from customers by means of scanning a generated QR code via the Zapper mobile app. Customers can also use it to pay bills, redeem discounts and earn loyalty points.

Zapper says its user base has climbed to over 835 000 as more merchants and consumers increasingly acknowledge the convenience and safety of QR code payment apps.

Contactless payment platforms have reported a significant rise in payment volumes, as consumers turn to alternative payment options to avoid the exchange of cash, amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

A growing number of retailers have been scrambling to get online payment systems in place to meet the spike in demand from customers using contactless payment options via their mobile phones.

Brett White, Zapper CEO, told ITWeb that the local payments arena is seeing a shift in customer behaviour as more consumers opt for digital payments to adhere to social distancing practices.

“We have experienced amazing growth, with the number of new merchant sign-ups doubling in this last month. User growth has remained consistent during the lockdown period, which is positive given COVID-19’s restrictions on the hospitality sector and e-commerce platforms during lockdown levels four and five,” notes White.

This unexpected urgency to use digital payments has resulted in many first time users turning to digital payments and e-commerce platforms – a move which experts predict will result in a permanent uptick in contactless payments.

Zapper’s application program interfaces are designed to support and integrate with any business, including in-store point-of-sale, online e-commerce sites, mobile app payments and mobile banking payments, and provides convenience to those who want to split their bills with other parties, enabling a larger group of users, adds White.

Zapper has partnered with Mastercard to allow its users to be able to use the Zapper app at nearly 70 000 Masterpass-enabled merchants nationwide.

“Other new partnership deals include one with Huawei, to make Zapper available to download on the Huawei App Gallery. There is also more exciting news coming with Huawei, but that will only be in the next month. Additional partnerships in the pipeline are with crypto company Luno, vehicle access systems company Skidata and payments platform Ozow, coming soon.”

White says the company will divulge more details regarding the partnerships in due time.

Many of Zapper’s merchants were forced to temporarily close during the first stages of the lockdown period.

As a result, the QR code payment platform’s charity initiative #SaveYourFave collaborated with feeding drive #ImStaying to give users the ability to donate to their favourite merchants straight from the Zapper app, through buying vouchers or direct donations.

“We are happy to have processed over R500 000 for both donations and voucher purchases combined. We removed all transaction fees on transactions for donations and ensured the merchants received every rand donated to them, and they were thus able to get a steady flow of income during the lockdown period,” concludes White.