“You plug it in, you launch a mobile application and it just works,” is how South African startup entrepreneur Stafford Masie explains his electronic Payment Pebble.

The former head of Google South Africa was recently featured on CNN’s weekly insert on African startups, where he showed off the Payment Pebble through his company Thumbzup.

Using personal funds to create his start-up, the Payment Pebble device which allows businesses to accept credit card payments on the go. He acknowledged that there are similar device on the market, but Payment Pebble is much cheaper to operate.

“Essentially anyone out there that has a smartphone can take the Payment Pebble, plug it in to the audio jack and it becomes a credit card machine,” Masie explained.

What makes it perfect for the cash-strapped African market, is that it has an initiation fee of $10 and a monthly fee of just $4. “It’s a product that you take out the box when you get it. You plug it in, you launch a mobile application and it just works,” he said.

According to Masie, more than thirty thousand merchants are now using the Payment Pebble in South Africa and Australia – and it is only going to grow.

Masie wants to expand the footprint into the rest of Africa, South East Asia and the U.S, and is understandably excited about what Thumbzup has in the pipeline.

“We’re very, very excited about the new technologies that will imminently be coming out of our conveyor belt of innovation,” he said.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.