South African bitcoin wallet Centbee has expanded its suite of products, this time allowing its users to purchase electricity, data and airtime using Bitcoin SV. The new feature allows Centbee users to pay with Bitcoin, fulfilling Satoshi’s vision of a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.
Speaking to CoinGeek, Centbee co-founder Angus Brown said, “We are very excited about this feature, as it demonstrates how people can use crypto as cash—as originally envisaged by Satoshi. Bitcoin SV is uniquely suited to this use-case, as it is scalable, fast and extremely low cost. Prepaid electricity and mobile airtime/data are bought literally millions of times per month in South Africa, so this is a product customers really use.”
The company isn’t slowing down in its goal to give the people of Africa a cheaper and faster payment platform using BSV, Brown said. It’s already working on other digital voucher products for gaming, app store credits, ride-sharing and more.
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Centbee understands the unique challenges that many Africans have to go through. Most people in the continent use prepaid vouchers for their utilities. For instance, to top up their electricity meters, they have to purchase the vouchers from the vendors. Centbee now allows the users to top up and buy electricity vouchers directly from the wallet while paying in BSV.
The service is currently only available to users in South Africa, but Centbee is working with its partners to expand to other countries. “We will shortly be negotiating with distribution partners in other parts of the world, to get access to sell this type of product in other territories,” Brown told CoinGeek.
Centbee introduced the voucher system in 2019, allowing its users to purchase BSV over the counter in retail stores. This project has been a resounding success, Brown revealed. He stated, “Centbee is available in over 50,000 retail stores across South Africa. Customers find the convenience of being able to deposit (modest amounts of) cash in those lanes, with larger BSV purchases typically occurring directly from bank accounts (inside the Centbee app). Our integration partner is not yet present in other parts of Africa, and we are talking to a variety of technical partners to get similar access across Africa.”
It’s other product, Centbee Remit, allows its users to send money across borders for only a fraction of the cost that legacy systems charge. In Africa, this is a critical service as the continent still has very high remittance charges. The service has been available on the South Africa-Nigeria corridor only, and as Brown revealed, it has been a big success.
“We have been doubling volumes month-on-month,” he revealed, adding, “We plan to integrate to another African country in Q3 of 2020.”
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