Spaza Shops Cash Out

Yes Vodacom tried to charge R49 to roll over data. The people revolted and now Vodacom will apparently do it for free. Have not yet heard how The Unlimited will do it. Only time will tell.


Also to your original post @SpazaShop Electroneum has a ZAR to Etn exchange and merchants most likely have a bank account I’m guessing. I’m not positive but that would be my guess. So they could use a exchange to cash out what is needed. I’m also guessing in time merchants will pop up that convert on exchanges for others for a fee. This may be part of the work they’re doing on the ground.

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Are you located in South Africa @SpazaShop ?

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Yes I am located in South Africa.


Exchanges are too complex for the average man on the street. Someone needs to make it easier. Otherwise it will not have good traction in the target market.


Do merchants have bank accounts for their shops? It may be part of their ground work to get vendors to supply this service. There is definitely a learning curve I agree with you I wouldn’t expect the average person to be using exchanges , merchants especially will need this service. Thank you for the insight it is great to hear from those located in the area to explain.


Update: The Unlimited just called me. Their rates are as follows. Unfortunately it’s not listed on their website. So only telephonic info available at this time.

User must load CellC airtime. Call costs @R1.75pm
They match the purchase with double airtime. So user pays R0.88c per minute which works out to about R0.03 per second. Calls are therefore R0.88c per minute when using the unlimited to any local network.

SMS are charged at R0.80c per SMS.

Airtime transfer is not yet supported. It will eventually be available in their app and will be branded at GiftU.

Calls and data can roam on other networks. Calls at the same rate, data at a more expensive rate.


Most small merchants at spaza shops operate on cash. Many of the spaza shops are foreign owned, Somalian, Ethiopian, Pakistan, Chinese etc only a handful of the 100 shops I serviced where local entrepreneurs and most don’t have local bank accounts. If Electroneum does not make it fast and easy for the merchants it won’t work. I have supplied over many local spaza shops with products. In this industry cash is king. When you try to get complex with EFT, bank accounts etc you get no where. Anyway just my 2c. Necessity is the mother of invention and I am sure someone will come to the party with a clever invention and method to cash out.


Thank you for all this information I really appreciate it :+1:

The airtime usage is really helpful to know.

I agree with what you pointed out they need to make it as easy as possible for vendors to operate with using Etn meaning they need a simple quick and easy way to transfer to fiat.

Imo they have thought of this we just haven’t seen their approach of How they will solve it yet. But I agree that is a hurdle that will need to be crossed. Thanks again for the insight

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There are a few other challenges I hope the team took into consideration.

  1. Phones important to South Africa need to have ICASA approval and sticker below the batter on the device.
  2. Most spaza shop owners are foreigners (how will they RICA their The Unlimited simcards?)
  3. If the spaza shop owner is unable to Rica his sim he won’t be able to use it. Unless he uses what we call a mumpara simcard (illegal simcard that has not been RICA’D or a foreign sim on roaming.)

Me thinks there will be many hurdles to cross but nothing is impossible if you think out the box and use innovative ideas.

Can’t wait to see ETN ecosystem growing on the ground in South Africa.


Thanks for the on the ground education Spaza. Greetings form Canada.


No problem. Will add more info as I go. Greetings from The Garden Route of South Africa.

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These are all really great points

  1. imo I’m sure they have recieved approval and abiding by regulation in that manor. It was stated the first batch of phones is directly for South Africa. So I’m sure they have considered such regulations.(hopefully)

  2. , 3. They may produce SIM card packs in another language for those needed. I’m not sure about this you bring up a good point and we should see their plan pretty soon here.

Very good points these definitely need to be considered

I’m still wanting to know this!

Found out know so no worries! :blush::+1:

Can you explain to be more about spazashops how they operate/ get supplied/ supply top up data and SIM cards currently.

How is SIM card RICA handled by other providers in area.

Maybe that should be under a new thread? Otherwise we take this thread to far off topic.

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I agree sorry I got a bit of topic trying to understand the economics there. Thank you for all the information I might create a new thread as I find all this information invaluable. I appreciate you taking the time to conversate with me about this.


Can local independent retailers/entrepreneurs use only a phone for retail transactions so as to receive ETN?

I am aware that there are several plugins for computer based EPos systems.

But say I am a small retailer in the outback somewhere can I start a business accepting ETN just with a internet connected mobile.

And will my retail transactions be kept separate from my normal ETN transactions for accountability purposes.

If there is a general framework for how this can be achieved if people from developed world who are ETN hoddlrs/supporters are on holiday to remote/exotic places in the world then they can demonstrate ETN functionality to local retailers when they buy goods are services at these local retailers.


That’s why most spaza shops work on cash. They don’t have access to fancy POS devices. So the mobile phone can work. You raise a good question about what account to link to on the phone because the shop is a business. It’s going to be interesting seeing how this gets done in the real world.

Especially given that most spaza shop owners are foreigners and not south africans. I am sure together we will figure this out.


@SpazaShop I found this while searching around the forum. Seems like they have a plan so we should be hearing more about “Electroneum agents” soon.

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