May 19, 2020

Virgin Money updates its Spot app used in South Africa with blockchain

South Africa
Fintech
Blockchain
Virgin Money
professo
2 min
Virgin Money updates its Spot app used in South Africa with blockchain

Virgin Money SA has upgraded Spot, its person-to-person payment app – aiming to make it more accessible, functional, and safe.

Opposed to its previous method, the app used in South Africa, now allows access to customers regardless of a 3D secure bank card.

Spot 3.0 was developed using Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain), utilising the technology’s speed and security.

Virgin Money has incorporated Spot Wallet, a digital wallet that adds and receives money from bank accounts.

“With the previous version of the app, payments went directly into the credit or debit card linked to the app. With Spot 3.0, all payments and referral rewards are paid into your Spot Wallet instantly,” stated Andre Hugo, CEO of Virgin Money SA.

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“New and existing customers can now simply link their bank accounts to cash out money from their Wallets.”

Following the app’s update, customers are now able to pat merchants using Spot 3.0 by scanning a QR code.

“Customers will need to add a bank account to cash out money from their Spot Wallet; other than that, the experience for existing customers has been enhanced, as they’re able to send and receive money into their Spot Wallet in an instant, with no monthly subscription fees and no transaction fees. It’s simple, safe and social,” Hugo continued

“Virgin Money Spot is the first retail micro-token exchange in South Africa. What this means for consumers is that we can transfer value in a fast, cost-efficient and transparent manner that protects against fraud and gives our customers peace of mind.”

“All Spot transactions are recorded in our Blockchain ledger, which means they are tamper-proof. So, Spot is not only mobile, convenient and instant, it’s also secure.”

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Jun 16, 2021

Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution

Macmillan Education
Grupo Espinosa
3 min
A proudly Mexican company servicing the publishing industry with best-in-class printing, storage and distribution facilities in the heart of Latin America

Founded in 1952, Grupo Espinosa has been relentlessly supporting the publishing industry with producing more than 100 million copies every year – whether its books, magazines, catalogues or single-order custom prints. No project is big or small for Grupo Espinosa, as the facility can scale up on demand and their turnaround times are highly competitive. Grupo Espinosa works with on-demand digital press or offset press, in paperback with glued softcover binding, PUR softcover binding, stitched paperback binding, binder’s board, hardcover, saddle stitched, Spiral or Wire-O. Equipped with the experience needed for a product to leave the plant ready for distribution, Grupo Espinosa delivers anywhere inside or outside Mexico. Traditionally starting off as a black and white printing press, Grupo Espinosa has experienced transformation first hand – from colour to digital offset printing. Currently, Grupo Espinosa is also looking at making capital investments into audio books to match with the increasing demand. 

So how did a seemingly local operation in Latin America become a world-renowned printing facility trusted by hundreds of clients? As Rogelio Tirado, CFO of Grupo Espinosa for the last six years says “It all comes down to our market experience and our dedication to quality”. With nearly 70 years behind them, and located in Mexico City, Grupo Espinosa has two major locations – one spanning 75,000 square metres and the other about 45,000 square metres. Both locations are controlled by a single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system ensuring speed, consistency and quality of work. Tirado says this isn’t their only competitive advantage. He adds “Our competitive advantage is the relationship we have with customers and the trust they put in us with their intellectual property”. Speaking of trust, global publishing giant Macmillan Education exclusively partners with Grupo Espinosa for their Latin America operations, as part of Macmillan’s decentralized hub strategy. Having a facility that offered the full spectrum of service – from storing digital content to printing and distributing – was one of the major requirements for Macmillan, and Grupo Espinosa was recognized as the leading printing hub for providing this 360 infrastructure. Another factor that has led to success for Grupo Espinosa is the absolute focus on quality and time. The staff are committed to providing the best quality in the best possible time, without causing wastage of resources. Sustainability is a huge factor playing into Grupo Espinosa’s operations, and they’ve created a healthy environment with the sustainable use of paper and energy resources as well as keeping their employees – most of them associated with the organisation for over 10 years – happy. He adds, “In order to be truly successful, you need to be good to the environment, employees, suppliers, and your customers. But most importantly, you need to be sustainable, you need to have proper working conditions, pay proper salaries, proper prices for paper, source the paper from sustainable sources, pay your taxes,  basically be a good global corporate citizen and that's probably one of the biggest achievements that we have.”

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