A simple new service that aims to remove the hassle and administration involved with traditional courier services has been launched.

Hosted exclusively on the WeChat platform, picup is an on-demand goods collection and delivery service that provides a simple and cash-free approach to logistics. The Uber-like service has been launched initially in the Cape Town area.

Users can sign up for the service by downloading WeChat, following the picup official account, PicupSA, and completing the registration process. Once registration is confirmed, users can request a driver to collect or deliver documents or packages to and from a determined location.

After the “picup” and delivery address have been entered, users can select the appropriate mode of “picup” available in the vicinity according to what is being delivered. These modes can be via bicycles, scooters and cars operating in areas throughout the Cape Metropole. Users will be charged a minimum base rate plus a per-kilometre charge.

“Technology is changing our lives,” says chief Picup officer, Grant Isaacs. “Customers value their time, they’re demanding immediacy, efficiency and simplicity and this is exactly what picup aims to achieve by letting customers order a licensed, verified and fully trained professional driver directly from WeChat seamlessly – no paperwork, no confusion, no problem.

“We believe in embracing life’s challenges and the challenge of creating a simple, reliable on-demand delivery service was one we could not ignore. It will also facilitate and service the on demand, emergency needs of existing courier companies. In time it will be a great alternative for e-commerce companies and other businesses, especially as more South Africans start shopping online,” Isaacs adds.

“Imagine standing in a queue at Home Affairs only to realise that you’ve forgotten your ID book at home. With picup, you can arrange for a driver to collect and deliver the document for you – all on your mobile phone and without losing your place in the queue,” says Brett Loubser, head of WeChat Africa.

“This is just another way that WeChat is integrating users’ online and offline lives. Picup uses WeChat’s built in functionality such as mapping, and messaging to take the schlep out of deliveries and turns your phone into a remote control.”

Isaacs adds that, while the service is launching in Cape Town, there are plans to expand to other cities.