A new crypto payment method has been launched in South Africa by Stitch, the payments infrastructure company. 

Cryptocurrency adoption continues to grow in South Africa. A study from Binance indicates that around 7.7 million South Africans own cryptocurrency, often purchased using popular exchanges such as Binance and VALR. The new Stitch payment solution enables consumers to buy goods and services using crypto directly. Businesses can then settle these payments in ZAR.

Stitch president Junaid Dadan
Junaid Dadan, president at Stitch

Stitch president Junaid Dadan said: “Cryptocurrency adoption in South Africa has been one of the highest in the world. There’s a massive audience that would prefer to use their crypto to make payments. We’re excited to offer Stitch clients an opportunity to reach and serve this audience, without the need to take on direct volatility risk, thanks to our Pay with crypto method.”

Globally, interest in using crypto to pay for goods and services is on the rise. However, those who choose this method are spending more than their peers. According to a report from BitPay, up to 40 per cent of customers who pay for goods and services with Bitcoin are new customers – and they spend twice as much online as credit card users. The number of businesses worldwide that accept cryptocurrency is estimated to be around 15,000.

With Stitch Pay with crypto, businesses in South Africa can offer customers the option to make a deposit or check out using crypto stored in their VALR or Binance wallets, or send Bitcoin or Ethereum directly. The business will then get settled in ZAR, so they don’t need to worry about managing currency fluctuations.

Building on VALR
Blake Player, head of growth at VALR,
Blake Player, head of growth at VALR

Blake Player, head of growth at VALR, said: “We’re excited another partner is building on top of the VALR Pay API. The Stitch integration expands the options VALR customers have to spend crypto balances in South Africa to the e-commerce market. The interest we’ve had in working with the VALR Pay product has been amazing. We’re expecting high growth in the volume of crypto payments as it becomes more widely accepted.”

Stitch emerged from stealth in February 2021 and has raised $52million in total funding. Stitch infrastructure powers global and African businesses across sectors, including MTN, Luno, Multichoice, The Foschini Group (TFG), Standard Bank’s SnapScan and Yoco. This is as well as global PSP partners and global consumer internet companies.

These businesses will now be able to offer their consumers a crypto payment method. At checkout, the consumer will choose ‘Pay with crypto’ and select their preferred wallet and cryptocurrency. Then, they must confirm their mobile number and verify the purchase with a one-time password.

Following this, the consumer opens wallet app via on-screen QR code and follows the steps to complete payment with the appropriate amount of their chosen crypto. Lastly, Stitch converts the crypto to ZAR and settles the merchant in ZAR on the following business day.

Where can it be used?

Virtually any business that accepts digital payments can offer ‘Pay with crypto’. Example use cases include:

  • Online marketplaces and e-commerce businesses: can broaden their customer reach by offering additional payment methods
  • Gaming and trading platforms: Can offer users the flexibility to top up their accounts using their preferred cryptocurrencies
  • Local and international travel providers: can appeal to a wider user base and enable users to settle payments for international experiences and accommodation packages. All the while they save significantly on international transaction fees

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