South African bank, Nedbank is testing its newest innovation, a contactless payments solution. This the first payment’s solution of its kind in Africa at this point. The quote, ‘tap-on-phone’ technology converts merchants and mobile owners’ mobile phones into ‘payment acceptance devices’
Contactless payments ensure SMEs have to easily and securely accept payments from their customers for goods or services.
Nedbank says the ‘tap-on-phone’ solution was inspired greatly by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing rules that it resulted in, in many African countries and beyond. This contactless payment method reduces risk of merchants and customers contracting the disease from each other by reducing the need for prolonged if any physical contact.
Nedbank Retail and Business Banking, Group Managing Executive, Ciko Thomas said, “The challenges presented by COVID-19 demand that the world of payments evolves even quicker, and banks must respond by providing innovative ways for businesses to connect with their customers through easy, inclusive and preferably contactless payments solutions.”
He adds that the technology employs the same strong security protocols as the available physical payment terminals. As such, it meets Visa and Mastercard’s requirements. It also helps that customers do not have to expose their physical bank cards to merchants when making their payments.
Ciko Thomas also explains that ‘tap-on-phone’ would save businesses loads in the way of time and money as they can receive payments electronically without the need for pricey Point-Of-Sale hardware, fixed data or telephone lines.
The minimum requirement for a compatible device is any Android device running version 7.0 or newer operating system. The device has to be NFC-enabled. This is very little to ask compared to the expensive hardware used in traditional electronic payments methods.
This accessibility promotes inclusivity for SMEs and informal traders who previously could not accept payment via debit/credit cards.
Nedbank is piloting this tap-on-phone innovation. It is currently available to select Nedbank merchants, individuals and business clients.
After further study on this initial userbase, Nedbank will provide the solution to a wider userbase in the second half of 2020. The technology will thereafter be made available to all Nedbank clients and third-party application developers.