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MXit launches its own geo-fenced payment system

Think First National Bank’s Geo-payments is cool? Well it’s not the first. Apparently MXit has been doing it for a while.

According to the Stellenbosch-based startup, its staff has been using a “geo-fenced mobile payment” system since early April. The application is called Gust and a Beta version is expected to be ready in June.

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MXit earlier this year announced its mobile payment system, dubbed M2, which it rolled out to restaurants, allowing users to pay for meals using the platform.

MXit’s payments system previously worked as an in-app purchase model. Users could only purchase digital content from the platform. People can now purchase outside the platform through a pin system.

With Gust, the company is moving away from MXit Moola to a payment app that doesn’t actually rely on MXit’s platform.

“Gust wallets run on iPhones, while the merchant side runs on an iPad. When two devices are close to each other the merchant can request a payment from the mobile phone user. Unlike other payment systems which use geo-fencing logic, Gust does not need a GPS device or even a GSM connection,” says MXit.

Gust uses Wi-Fi, your name and photo to make a payment. Like mobile payment sensation Square, all communication happens over the Wi-Fi network.

“The idea with the Gust project was to design a really quick and reliable mobile payment experience without NFC,” says TrustFabric CEO Joe Botha, who has been working with MXit on this app.

According to MXit the app began as an experiment with geo-fenced payment experiences. A small team built the Alpha version in six weeks.

“Merchants and users have been giving us very positive feedback. The plan is to make Stellenbosch not only the first town to offer free wifi, but also the first town where you don’t need cash,” says Botha.

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