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  • Technology is shifting the state of ‘pay’ in the restaurant and retail space

    South Africa is primarily a cash-driven society with more than 60% of all transactions conducted in cash, rising as high as 90% in rural and peri-rural areas. However, with the number of cards in circulation growing, an opportunity exists to increase electronic payments. Innovation in payment options is driven by convenience and card payments have evolved from zip zap machines to electronic terminals. We have experienced trust or security improvements with the introduction of EMV (chip and PIN cards) and in more recent years we have seen the use of QR Codes as a method of payment change the purchase...

  • Four top fintech businesses selected for AlphaCode’s R2.5m scale-up programme

    Four businesses that are shaking up financial services have been named as finalists in AlphaCode’s recently launched accelerator programme, AlphaCode Accelerate. AlphaCode is Rand Merchant Investment Holding’s (RMI) incubation, acceleration and investment vehicle that identifies, partners and grows early-stage financial service ventures. AlphaCode was founded to seek the next OUTsurance or Discovery. The first four fintech businesses selected for the AlphaCode Accelerator programme are: Entersekt, Livestock Wealth, Click2Sure and Invoice Worx. AlphaCode has partnered with scale-up accelerator 10X-e to provide a R2.5-million programme offering mentorship, expert guidance and support services to help these businesses on the path to scale and job creation. Dominique...

  • AlphaCode seeks next OUTsurance or Discovery, offering R16m in support

    AlphaCode, an initiative of Rand Merchant Investments (RMI), has set aside R16-million to identify a new generation of financial services entrepreneurs through its AlphaCode Incubate initiative. Explains Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode and RMI senior investments executive,"The RMI board believes it is important to identify, partner and grow the next generation of financial services entrepreneurs so that the group can continue its legacy of innovation with businesses like Discovery, OUTsurance, MMI and FirstRand. "Because the South African financial services landscape is changing rapidly due to the rise of new technology, dynamic regulatory environment, increased cyber security risks and a different type...

  • Why entrepreneurs are turning to property development and investment

    Property development and investment is becoming an increasingly attractive arena for entrepreneurs both locally and abroad, with the demand for affordable property on the rise due to rapid urbanisation and changing housing trends. According to GetSmarter, a wholly-owned subsidiary of digital education company 2U, Inc., property development and investment are among the top skills entrepreneurs are investing in, in 2018. Why property? A career in property development makes good economic sense for those with the patience and know-how to succeed. While many entrepreneurial start-ups favour rapid, short-term growth, property is a long-term investment that has the potential to pay out big down...

  • Top five skills in 2018 that entrepreneurs are investing in

    In a rapidly changing business landscape defined by both economic development and technological disruption, it has become crucial for entrepreneurs to continue to upskill themselves in order to keep pace and identify opportunities. GetSmarter, a wholly-owned subsidiary of digital education company 2U, has released findings on the top five skills entrepreneurs are investing in based on trends in the emerging market. Comparing the last two years, GetSmarter courses have attracted more business partners, business owners, founders, and entrepreneurs in the first half of 2018 alone than in the whole of 2017. This trend is likely caused by an increasing need for...

  • Table Mountain restaurants now enjoy 1-second tap & go transaction speed

    South Africa’s iconic Table Mountain, which is  recognised as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and internationally acclaimed as a top tourist experience, has a fast-moving food and beverage (F&B) environment. Approximately 1.2-million transactions per annum take place -- this is made up of card and cash payments by local and international tourists who eat and drink as part of their Table Mountain experience. Given the high volumes of visitors, the key priority for the F&B division at Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company is to ensure that payment transactions are quick and easy in order to minimize queues and...

  • The importance of a co-working space for startups, what to consider when looking for one

    Brad Neuberg is widely credited as having founded the co-working space concept as we know it when he launched the first such space in 2005 in San Francisco. Since then the co-working movement has spread around the world and is now associated with innovation and tech startups. Benefits associated with co-working spaces range from affordability, opportunities for networking and collaboration, to hip amenities and services. But, just how important is it for startups to find a good co-working space? Schuyler Vorster (pictured above), director and founder of co-working company The Inner City Ideas Cartel, believes a good co-working space is “one of very...

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