Spazas The green tills of Africa
Spazas everywhere are achieving new levels of efficiency and – one hopes – profitability thanks to a R25m investment by the SA SME Fund in A2Pay, provider of technology solutions to small businesses, and in this case, of high-tech tills to informal or independent retailers. The hardware in question scans barcoded items, and can be used to sell airtime, bus tickets and electricity. Their quick buttons are able to capture non-barcode items like hot food, chips, loose cigarettes and sweets, and the system that backs them up comes pre-loaded with 15,000 barcoded items. And that’s not all: the system works out the cost price of items and gross profits and notifies retailers of their top-selling items by quantity, by profit and by value, giving them weekly and monthly stock and turnover reports, including gross profit reports. The tills are themselves only the tip of the iceberg: A2Pay will be distributing the SME Fund’s R25m in the form of loans to 1,500 spazas nationwide.
Comment: Access to capital is perhaps the greatest challenge to small business. An excellent initiative.