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Nedbank launches first tap-on-phone payment system in Africa

(Image credit: Nedbank)

New payment options in South Africa are springing up, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened germophobia. 

Nedbank are cutting out the middle man and helping small businesses make it easier to pay effectively without cash or touching buttons. Their new tap-on-phone functionality allows all merchants and business owners to convert mobile phones into payment acceptance devices easily. 

This kind of payment innovation is a first for the continent, with other contactless payments requiring a QR code app or point-of-sale (POS) device. 

The bank has assured clients that this service uses the same security as physical terminals and meets Mastercard and Visa requirements.

This is beneficial to businesses, which often opt to be cash based or use cheaper alternatives such as SnapScan or Zapper, as the hardware and costs associated with physical point-of-sale machines can be prohibitive. 

All the client needs is an Android device that is on version 7.0 or newer, and is NFC-enabled. 

In South Africa, this could also be useful for those in the informal sector, which is heavily cash-based. Take into consideration that many who own businesses in this sector are dealing with customers who are unbanked and don't have debit or credit cards, may not have a smartphone and live in a poor connectivity area. 

This service is currently only a pilot and has been given to certain Nedbank merchants to test. 

Leila Stein

Leila Stein is an experienced multimedia journalist and content producer with a special interest in data journalism. she is skilled in news writing, editing, online writing and multimedia content production and have a Bachelor of Journalism  from Rhodes University and an Honours in Historical Studies from University of Cape Town.