Nedbank’s New Tap on Phone – a First in Africa – Enables Safe and Secure Contactless Payments

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Halo Dot
Two people completing a transaction with a SoftPOS device

Nedbank has unveiled its new Tap on Phone functionality that allows all merchants and business owners to convert their mobile phones into payment acceptance devices.

Tap on Phone makes it easier for small- and medium-sized businesses to use their compatible smartphones to accept quick, easy, and secure, payments from their customers for goods or services. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic facing the world we have all been sensitised to the need for social distancing, which has impacted all areas of our lives, including how we transact on a day-to-day basis. The Tap on Phone functionality enables contactless payment acceptance and there’s no health risk to the merchant or customer.

A first for Africa, Nedbank is the only bank to offer this capability. The Tap on Phone functionality builds on Nedbank’s successful PocketPOS payment solution, which was also the first mobile card reader of its kind to be launched in South Africa in 2013.

According to Ciko Thomas, Group Managing Executive: Nedbank Retail and Business Banking, Tap on Phone is another example of Nedbank’s commitment to harnessing its digital strength to deliver inclusive banking services for all. "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," Thomas explains. "Nedbank’s Tap on Phone functionality enables this by harnessing the power of mobile technology."

Thomas says that Tap on Phone uses the same strong security as physical payment terminals and meets Mastercard and Visa requirements. The security is further enhanced by the fact that customers do not have to hand over their physical bank cards to a merchant when paying.

Thomas also points out that Tap on Phone saves businesses money and time because they can receive electronic payments without having to invest in costly hardware such as a point-of-sale (POS) device or fixed data or telephone lines before they can start trading. An Android device that is on version 10.0 or newer, and is NFC-enabled, is all they need. This makes the functionality especially valuable for SMMEs, and informal traders that could not previously accept debit and credit card payments.

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

"We are pleased to partner with Nedbank to further support small businesses, as they adapt to meet the needs of their customers who are increasingly looking for contactless ways to pay, particularly amid the Covid-19 pandemic," says Suzanne Morel, Country Manager for Mastercard, South Africa. "Tap on Phone provides consumers with peace of mind and the freedom of choice in how they pay, either by tapping their card or scanning a QR code."

Barry Coetzee, CEO of iVeri agrees and says Tap on Phone is part of the global transition to software-based payment solutions. "At iVeri we keep evolving to ensure we meet our customers and banking partners where and how they want to transact,’"Coetzee says, "and leveraging the technology of the already mobile PocketPOS base will provide the perfect environment to take tap on phone to the market."

"Tap on Phone is set to drive a major paradigm shift in mobile payment acceptance," says Pierre Aurel, Product Manager at Halo Dot. "It’s a powerful business enabler and we see it playing a significant role in the future of mobile payments due to its speed, convenience, and enhanced security. The technology has immense potential to bring small merchants into the digital payments ecosystem as well as enhancing checkout options for e-commerce."

The Tap on Phone functionality is currently in pilot phase and has been provided to a selection of Nedbank merchants including individual and business clients. This client base will be increased during the second half of 2020, after which the technology will be made available to all Nedbank clients and third-party application developers.