Absa launches Mobile Pay in SA – no POS hardware required

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FILE PHOTO: The buildings with the logos of three of South Africa's biggest banks, ABSA, Standard Bank and First National Bank (FNB) are seen against the city skyline in Cape Town, South Africa, September 3, 2017.REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The buildings with the logos of three of South Africa's biggest banks, ABSA, Standard Bank and First National Bank (FNB) are seen against the city skyline in Cape Town, South Africa, September 3, 2017.REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

Absa-banked merchants can now accept card payments directly on their mobile phones, without the need for a point-of-sale (POS) terminal.

Absa Mobile Pay allows merchants to turn their Android phones into a mobile POS device. The bank has rolled out the app with technology firm Wizzit Digital.

The app, which eliminates the need for separate hardware card readers, works with phones that support Android 7 or later and must have near-field communication (NFC) enabled.

Faisal Mkhize, managing executive for relationship banking at Absa Retail and Business Bank, said all merchants need to do is enter the amount due into 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 device.

“The app will accept card payments below R500 without the need for a Pin, but for added security a Pin is needed for transactions of R500 or more. There is no limit to transactions and the shopper’s normal card payment limits will apply,” Mkhize said.

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

Although the solution is only available on Android devices for now, Mkhize told TechCentral that Absa will engage with Apple when a similar service is eventually offered on the iPhone in South Africa.

Apple has been working on a tap-on-phone feature for the iPhone since 2020. The tap-on-phone feature will be launched in the US later this year and will likely use the iPhone’s NFC chip that is currently used for Apple Pay. –

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