Absa, one of South Africa’s Big Four Banks, has today announced the launch of its new Absa Mobile Pay app in conjunction with technology firm WIZZIT Digital.

This latest innovation that Absa is calling “a market-first, mobile payment acceptance solution” allows Absa merchants to use their Android smartphones as a Point of Sale (POS) device by simply downloading the Absa Mobile Pay App from the Google Play Store – no additional hardware, plug-ins, card readers or dongles are needed – basically turning their phones into card machines.

The South African bank says that the only requirement to using the app is that the merchant’s smartphone should support Android 7.0 (Nougat) or more recent Android operating systems and be enabled for Near-Field Communication (NFC).

NFC allows customers to pay using their card, wearable or other contactless wallet option of choice.

“The Absa Mobile Pay solution transforms smartphones and tablets into secure contactless payment terminals and marks another milestone in our journey to offering our business customers cutting-edge, tailor-made solutions,” says Faisal Mkhize, Managing Executive for Relationship Banking at Absa Retail and Business Bank.

It is simple and easy to use, adds Mkhize. “The merchant merely enters the amount due on their Android smartphone or tablet, and the customer can pay for the product or service by tapping their contactless debit or credit card on the merchant’s device.”

The solution allows merchants to securely accept any card payment with no PIN required for transactions below R500 ($33,19).

For added security, contactless payments of R500 ($33,19) or more require a PIN. There is no limit on the transaction value that can be facilitated – the shopper’s normal card payment limits will apply.

Absa Mobile Pay is cost-effective – it eliminates monthly device rental and callout fees for point of sale terminal repairs. It also allows merchants to access all transaction information via the application and to email or WhatsApp receipts to customers.

While it is suitable for all businesses including corporates, it is primarily targeted at small and medium enterprises (SMEs), particularly those with on-the-go operations which previously only accepted cash or electronic (EFT) payments.

According to the announcement, several thousand transactions have already been processed, with an average value of R110 ($7,3) per transaction.

Wilmarie Groenewald, Functions Co-ordinator at Diamant Estate Weddings and Functions Venue, says they launched Absa Mobile Pay on Valentine’s night and the reaction from customers was amazing.

“Not only were customers tapping their cards, but they also used their watches and phones on our merchant phone to pay for drinks. It is quick and easy and customers loved it.”

“As we specialise in the low income and informal market in South Africa, it was a no brainer to use the Absa Mobile Pay App. Low cost and extremely easy to implement, it is perfect for the market we work in. As a result, we are able to assist thousands of small businesses to accept card payments and grow. A method that was once out of reach is now a reality for our clients.”

The Absa Mobile Pay solution has been certified by both Mastercard and Visa with regard to functional, security and branding requirements.

Edited by Luis Monzon
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