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MasterCard holders are in luck and can experience pure luxury with the MasterCard Priceless Africa Program, an exclusive collection of experiences especially designed for cardholders to explore unique moments in cities and places across South Africa.

Let your MasterCard reward you with priceless moments and offers as a way of thanking you for being a loyal member. Experience all your favourite activities ranging from dining to shopping, sports, having a look at some exciting attractions, travel, entertainment and much more.

Excited to explore which options I could treat myself to through the Priceless Africa Program, I registered online at www.pricelessafrica.com by filling in all my details and creating my very own profile.

Hereafter, the options were endless for me to choose from and to redeem, so I browsed through the different experiences available to me before making my choice.

After browsing through various travel and dining options, it only made sense for me to choose something that would be accessible to me in Johannesburg, so I opted for a “Buy 1 & get 1 free” offer at the Karoo Cattle and Land restaurant.

The Selcted Offer

My next step was to actually redeem my voucher by clicking on “Get Voucher” which then took me to a page instructing me what I would need to do to qualify for the special.

The Confirmation after selecting the offer

 As instructed, I redeemed my voucher by viewing and printing it, it was that simple! Now I have the voucher loaded on to my profile, allowing me to print it again, should my copy get lost or damaged. Online vouchers, such as these and similarly, SMS vouchers, are a fast growing phenomenon. From other companies and brands like Shoprite to Groupon and more, online vouchers are seemingly becoming the way forward in shopping trends.

The Voucher itself

So there you have it, I just scored a dinner, including a complimentary dinner for a partner, all thanks to MasterCard. I can now choose to spoil a family member, friend or a loved one in a range of ways through this new offering and I’m excited to explore more new MasterCard memories to come. Go all out this festive and spoil yourself with some amazing treats like these.

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It’s been eight years since the processing of the first MasterCard shopping centre gift cards in South Africa and Tutuka staff celebrated in true birthday fashion, blowing out candles and cutting a cake.

In 2005, Tutuka launched South Africa’s first prepaid MasterCard. This now opened new opportunities for shopping centres and meant that they could have their own shopping centre gift cards with their own centre branding and the card could be used at any store within the shopping centre.

The card was then launched at five shopping centres around South Africa. These were particularly selected because of their significance in size and distribution around the country. Tutuka, together with Standard Bank, MasterCard and Altech supported these cards.

Today there are approximately 50 shopping centres around South Africa that use the prepaid MasterCard gift cards.

“Having launched the very first open loop gift cards in South Africa 8 years ago when the concept was not known, and watching it grow to a stage where these cards are issued at most shopping centres and by corporates is a proud achievement,”  said Tutuka’s Director of New Business and Marketing, Drisha Nair.

“We could not have accomplished this without the help of our partners Standard Bank, MasterCard and Altech. The partnership has resulted in the largest footprint of MasterCard gift cards issuance across South Africa.”

Here’s to a eight great and very successful years and many, many more to come in the future.

 

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Tutuka’s Director of New Business and Marketing, Drisha Nair, lights the candles to the 8th year celebratory cake. After all, It’s not a celebration without a cake and candles

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Let’s hope that Tutuka’s Chief Technical Officer, Shaun Hodgkiss, wished for many more successful years to come

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Tutuka CEO, Rowan Brewer, did the honours and cut the cake

Tech4Africa

Currently in its fourth year, the Tech4Africa conference came to Johannesburg last week Thursday and Friday (9-10 October).

According to their website, Tech4Africa is considered to be “the premier African technology event for everyone interested in technology in Africa”. Hosting over 600 delegates this year, the conference ran over two days with a core focus on technical workshops and sessions for practitioners. Delegates could also attend and enjoy interesting talks where knowledge on various subjects within the technical field was imparted.

Featuring a range of impressive speakers over the years, Tutuka’s very own software developer, Jurgens du Toit joined the ranks this year, offering his input in a talk entitled; “Is PHP the slums of the programming world?”. This included a discussion about PHP’s viability as a language in a modern web stack.

“I attended Tech4Africa for the first time last year, and decided that I’m going to try and speak at it this year. My experience is that people tend to disregard PHP as a modern language, and I wanted to address this…It’s not part of Tutuka’s web stack, but as I have quite a bit of experience with it, I decided to centre my talk around it,” said Jurgens about his involvement.

“Although the conference is somewhat business orientated, the first day’s focus is on development and developers, and a lot of technically minded people attend the first day. It’s a great opportunity to network and be exposed to other technologies and methodologies.”

As part of their programme, Tech4Africa also runs what they term “Developer Hackathons”, an opportunity, for those interested, to explore technology stacks, complex problems, emerging technologies and more.

We commend Jurgens on his involvement at the Tech4Africa conference and see this as an example of the expertise and knowledge-base housed at Tutuka.

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The World Bank called Africa’s financial services inadequate and inaccessible because there is no strong banking infrastructure and a large portion of the population has no access to computers, smartphones or the internet.

For this reason, the mobile payments industry in Africa is booming.

However, mobile solutions still need to be able to work with the unreliable networks, poor internet connections, and screen-illiterate users that characterise most of Africa.

Keeping these key points in mind, South African start up, Nomanini, aims to replace physical airtime scratch cards with mobile point-of-sale (POS) terminals in Africa.

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CEO and founder Vahid Monadjem has been quoted as saying the mobile revolution in Africa most likely would not have happened without the airtime scratch card.

However there is room for improvement on this method since scratch cards include complex manufacturing procedures, like the application of scratch-off wax. These procedures, together with transport considerations, result in heavy costs.

 Nomanini’s portable airtime vending machine works wirelessly. Users simply have to press the required type and amount of airtime and then press the enter button to send the transaction through.

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The airtime voucher number is delivered to the terminal after interaction with the simple interface and is printed instantly on standard thermal receipt paper.

Called the ‘Lula’, the orange box also supplies prepaid vouchers for electricity, water, and insurance.

People can buy one of these boxes and set up a mini-business to supplement their incomes. In December 2012, 40 000 people purchased airtime through the Lula.

Nomanini says its Lula terminal is designed for informal market users, is fully mobile and can even be worn around the neck. Owners of the boxes can sell the vouchers anywhere, from their homes to minibus taxis, or simply on the street. This means the terminals can be used to provide airtime to those living in rural areas with no easy access to stores.

They then deposit their earnings into a Nomanini account to reload the terminal and earn a commission on all of their sales. The terminal costs about $200.

 Pros:

  • No Internet access or bank account required
  • Simple interface
  • Instant transaction
  • Reduced manufacturing and transport costs
  • Opportunity for informal entrepreneurs
  • Fully mobile so can serve rural communities