Mastercard Bring Contactless Payments To SA’s Informal Economy

Mastercard
Mastercard

Hellopay and Mastercard announced a partnership to roll out SoftPOS – a contactless acceptance solution that turns any NFC-enabled Android device into a physical point of sale. This move is expected to boost digital payment acceptance at small informal enterprises in South Africa while supporting consumers’ preference for touch-free payments amidst social distancing.

SoftPOS leverages Mastercard Tap on Phone, a simple and cost-effective digital payment technology developed for micro and small businesses like spaza shops, independent retailers, market stall traders, mobile servicemen and tradesmen who tend to operate in a cash economy due to the costs and complexity of obtaining the traditional point of sale devices.

Hellopay has a large merchant network comprising of Spaza Shops and other informal traders in South Africa and servicing millions of customers in rural areas and under-served settlements. The solution turns Android smartphones into secure payment acceptance devices for contactless cards, mobile wallets and even smartwatches — with no additional equipment or set-up costs.

Hellopay’s Tap on Phone solution is the result of a collaborative partnership between Nedbank, Mastercard and SmartPesa. The tap-on-phone functionality aligns with Mastercard’s commitment to delivering quicker and more accessible payments, without ever sacrificing security for convenience.

Hellopay will pilot the solution with 1,000 merchants over the next six months.

Mastercard, which continues to be at the forefront in the design of security requirements for Tap on Phone, will manage the payments infrastructure to ensure the solution remains safe, secure, and seamless.

Businesses can download the free mobile app and offer it to their customers immediately, providing consumers with a checkout experience that is flexible, seamless, intuitive and secure. The solution is ideal for low-value transactions and enables merchants to provide a faster checkout in store, as well as accept payment on delivery – options that are increasingly important as consumers look to touch-free cash alternatives.

The demand for faster, more convenient, safe, and now cleaner ways to pay has driven the transition to contactless, and it’s a one-way street with touch-free experiences expected to be permanent for consumers and businesses even after the pandemic ends.

“We recognise the overwhelming pressure that small business owners are currently facing and are committed to supporting them through COVID-19 and beyond by bringing our tools at a low cost and rapid time to market,” says Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development for Middle East and Africa.

 

“Through our partnership with Hellopay, we can further support financial inclusion – especially among informal merchants –and help these businesses deliver new and best-in-class contactless consumer experiences using a device they already own: a smartphone.”

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