Takealot, one of South Africa's largest e-commerce companies, has announced that it is now leveraging online payment processor PayFast's service to accept bitcoin payments.
Launched in 2011, Takealot is a prominent company in South Africa's growing e-commerce space, having ranked fourth in a July poll conducted by South African online marketing firm research Columinate. Further, Takealot has raised $100m in funding to date to expand its operations.
The company revealed the move to the bitcoin community on Twitter, citing customer feedback in its decision to implement digital currency support soon after it was offered by PayFast.
As Takealot noted on its official Twitter account:
We heard your feedback! As always we delivered with speed! Super excited to announce we now accept Bitcoin as a payment method #GreatService
— takealot (@TAKEALOT) July 17, 2014
Given the company's wide selection of goods, the addition of Takealot to the bitcoin ecosystem is likely to be greeted with enthusiasm by the local bitcoin community. Takealot's platform is used to sell everything from Calvin Klein perfumes to Purina premium pet food.
Hidden bitcoin payment option
Though it proclaimed the announcement on Twitter, Takealot's site does not make it obvious that it now accepts bitcoin. The bitcoin logo, for example, is not displayed on the site. In fact, customers must select another payment mode in order to gain access to the bitcoin checkout option.
In order to make a bitcoin payment at Takealot, customers have to select the 'Instant EFT' payment option at checkout.
This will bring customers to a screen where they can choose between paying in bitcoin and paying using the Instant EFT payment mode.
Selecting 'bitcoin' as the payment mode brings the customer to a screen displaying a wallet address as text and as a QR code.
The checkout process converts the price denominated in the South African rand to bitcoin based on BitX exchange rates, displaying the converted price before payment is sent. The user is then given five minutes to send payment.
Partnerships enable integration
With the move, Takealot is taking advantage of services offered by BitX, a South African exchange and wallet service, to facilitate bitcoin payments.
BitX is in the midst of carrying out an expansion plan that will bring its services to 12 new markets, ranging from Brazil to Turkey, and including several African states like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The firm was acquired by Switchless, a software development firm that produces software for financial institutions, last October.
Takelot is also customer of PayFast, which announced today that it would make bitcoin payments available to its customers. The payment processor has a customer base of 30,000 merchants.
South African e-commerce image via Shutterstock