A Cape Town-based FinTech business, Electrum, has been providing local retailers and banks with the technology platform that they need in order to connect their systems to Value Added Services (VAS) providers and sell VAS.

The tremendous growth of VAS has created substantial demand from South African retailers such as retailer Pick ‘n Pay and the country’s fastest growing bank Capitec for the technology to support the sale of these services.

VAS include prepaid airtime, prepaid electricity, gift cards, bill payments, money transfers, e-tickets, and loyalty transactions. But it’s not as simple as selling a normal stock item that sits on a retailer’s shelves.

Founded by three of South Africa’s top payments tech experts, Electrum developed a solution to fulfill this need.

The Electrum platform, which runs in the cloud, was specifically designed for VAS management, transaction processing, and payments integrations. It provides fast, reliable, VAS integrations and easy-to-use management tools. It runs either as a stand-alone VAS platform or in conjunction with a retailer’s existing payments switch.

Electrum enables retailers to quickly bring VAS to market, reduces the cost of adding new integrations and in turn, drives additional revenue. It provides a single integration point that connects a retailer’s payments environment to the relevant VAS providers.

Dave Glass, Electrum’s MD said that when we started Electrum, we realised that retailers needed a solution for processing VAS transactions, something that many of the existing technologies struggled with.

“Our cloud-based VAS platform is now processing billions of VAS transactions per annum, and we’re helping our customers grow their bottom line. One of Electrum’s challenges in meeting customer demand is finding talented software developers as there is very limited supply in South Africa. However, we have found that Electrum is a very attractive place for developers to work, and we have built an excellent team with some real superstars.”

Major retailers and financial institutions use electrum’s technology to accept payments, process loyalty transactions and provide value added services.

Electrum’s customers include two out of Africa’s top three retailers, South Africa’s fastest growing retail bank, the largest drug store chain in South Africa, and the most cost effective money transfer company in South Africa.

Jason Peisl, IS Executive of Customer Applications at Pick n Pay explains, “Value Added Services is a major growth area in our business. We are continuously adding new VAS to meet consumer demand for these products, and drive revenue growth. Electrum has allowed us to rapidly expand our market offering and manage the complexity of integrating with more than thirty-third party VAS providers.”


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