The prominence of Technology adoption into the Tavern retail sector across the country

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Taverns across South Africa have been at the heartbeat to many of these communities for centuries, serving as social hubs where people come together to relax, socialize, and unwind. However, as technology continues to evolve, taverns in this parallel economy are embracing these technologies to improve their operations and customer experiences.

One of the most significant changes in the tavern retail sector in more recent years has been the rise of payment systems. In this post, we’ll explore the prominence of payment solutions as well as others and examine the acceptance of these technologies.

We conducted research to explore this trend across a sample of 6,250 liquor outlets and this is what we discovered:

Section 1: There is a Growing Popularity of Payment technologies in Taverns

In recent years, more and more taverns have begun to embrace these cashless payment systems. This trend is being driven by several factors, including the convenience and speed of cashless payments, as well as the Taverns being mostly South African owned which is in direct contrast to Spaza’s where foreign nationals operate and own this retail sector. South African tavern owners almost always have a registered bank account which enables many of these payment systems.

Moreover, cashless payments are seen to improve security and reduce the risk of theft, as well as to simplify procurement and financial management for business owners.

Some interesting insights from the data we collected:


of these outlets audited had more than one technology available in store.


don’t offer their consumers any card acquiring/swiping options.


of outlets had no technology in store.

Section 2: There is a vast range of options available, and competition is fierce

There is great interest in this retail sector across mobile operators, banks and independent private entities. Solutions may vary from drop safes in store, to stock management solutions and the more obvious card swiping and VAS terminals. Options are vast for the tavern owners but what is clear to me, no one technology has staked its dominance in this market and this market is still ripe for innovation. This innovation is transforming the way people pay for goods and services and accept payments.

The proliferation of payment solutions is a positive trend overall, as it fosters innovation and competition in the payment industry. As taverns continue to adapt to the changing retail landscape, the proliferation of payment solutions will play an increasingly important role in their success.


Section 3: The implications of these technologies

While the move towards cashless payments has many benefits, it also presents several challenges and implications for tavern owners and customers alike. For example, the digitizing of cash comes at a cost for the tavern owner as they bear the burden of switching fees.

Additionally, the move towards cashless payments raises questions around data privacy and security, as well as the potential for increased surveillance and tracking of customer behaviour.



As technology continues to evolve and service the needs for the tavern owner, this market has been overwhelmed with options. What’s encouraging is that the innovation brought to this retail sector is being adopted, there is no evidence to support the existence of any front runners. More interesting is the existence of multiple technologies in the same stores offering the same services.

Time will tell who will take charge of this opportunity but in the meantime tavern owners can create more efficient and effective businesses, while also providing customers with the convenience and security they expect in today’s digital age.